For complete disclaimers, see part 1.
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Year 2015 AD…
Hail to the full moon with its bright shining light... Let the darkness fade to grey...
Stars loomed brightly overhead. However, the sky was still as red as the evening sun. Everyone, every creature and being, stared up at this phenomenon. It was only midday according to everyone's sense of time. This was impossible. The sky was cloudless and it had been a clear blue that promised a warm blissful day. What was happening?
The Preacher ran to the streets with a bible in his hands. He was gasping for breath as he tried to speak and warn all those that were around him. "Don't look at this blasphemous sky. It will swallow your souls and you will never be saved. Come and listen to me. Go into the church and you will be safe. God will protect you. Hurry before it's too late!" He waved his bible furiously around while his acolytes were trying to lure people into the safety of the church.
The Preacher rounded up as many people as he could and closed the doors on his huge church before getting a glimpse of the reddening sky. He had saved all those that had listened and also those his followers had gathered. Fearing this day would come, all he could do was wait for the outcome, whatever it may be.
The many people outside who had not been near the Preacher looked up at the reddening sky. Everyone could see the stars sparkling brilliantly as if each one were blinking at all the eyes that were upon them. People stopped what they were doing, whether they had been inside of their workplace or in some sort of transportation. The world stopped to look at this spectacular and rare sight. No one had been informed such an occurrence was likely to transpire. No scientist or news reporter had spread any piece of information for what was happening.
Suddenly, a beam of blue light erupted from somewhere on the planet and pierced the red sky above. A tremendous wave of noise was spreading outward from its epicentre. It was like a massive wrenching roar that seemed humanly impossible to originate from a voice, a female voice.
The beam of blue light disappeared and so did the red sky. It looked as though the sky was returning to how it should be. However, at the epicentre of the beam of blue light lay five bodies.
Furry opened its bright golden eyes and surveyed its surroundings; a deep valley with high walls and plenty of trees for cover. The floor was covered in white damp snow and there were four others who were also lying prone on the ground. A deep sigh escaped its lips. "I wasn't able to stop her after all." Gingerly, the beast got up onto all four clawed paws. Shaking its blue fur dry, it slowly padded over to a body belonging to the person who it couldn't stop. Golden eyes took in the tanned muscular female body which was naked as the day she was born. A flicker of a pink tongue and a slither of magic permeated the air to cloth this powerful beauty that at the moment was so weak and prone to danger. "Now it's time I do my part in the plan that she had forged for the benefit of humanity."
Years passed on by and it was clear after this strange phenomenon that not everything had been restored to how it was before. There had been a rise in occurrences of humans becoming beasts or animals, with some the will to return to normal and others unable to. Doctors and scientist tried to figure out the reasoning behind it all. However, since the subjects had been human to begin with, current laws forbade them to investigate the incidents by using live subjects. It was inhumane and people still believed these creatures, whether beast or part, were still human.
Societies slowly began to crumble as humans started to fear those who were different. New towns were formed for those who had been cast out, but the governing bodies of the world were collapsing. People's beliefs in each other were broken as some family members were changed and others were left behind. They formed their own families and soon enough those that were the same were gathered together to form alliances or clans. However, slowly humanity began to dwindle further as those who used to be human began to prey on humans. Only half the numbers of those changed tried to protect those who hadn't. Wars escalated and the world was reborn anew. Humans were protected by their beastie companions or family members and the changed ones began to live a wild world.
Furry watched the changes occur around the world without batting an eye at the atrocities made. It could not change what had happened. Standing guard over the four people who had saved the world with all of their strength, only to have them fall into seemingly eternal sleeps, it couldn't venture out and help those who were victimized. It had argued about going through with the plan, but it was clear this was the only way. No one knew there would be these kinds of consequences for their actions. It was already strange enough there were four bodies to guard when originally there should have only been two.
Watching its four charges, Furry kept every being away from the valley. Not a soul was to step foot inside as a magical field of energy shielded those within from all those outside as well as time itself. It was necessary for the beast to maintain the bodies of those who were directly involved in the incident. The woman who had planned it all had instructed it to follow her orders. It knew this command was one of utmost importance as it was aware of the possible repercussions. However, there were other consequences to the woman's plans besides the ones that had been brainstormed prior to the incident. I wonder how long it will be for them to wake up...
Decades passed and the world was yet changing again. Humanity was almost lost and Furry could not sit within the valley any longer without helping those it could see. It was aware the beasts and shifters out in the world had changed the world into a wild wilderness where technology was no longer important. Humans were to rely on medieval warfare for defence against others since modern warfare failed many times over. They were after all not dealing with normal mindless animals. They were dealing with intelligent creatures that had once been human.
Furry decreased the shield capacity around the valley and hoarded humans within with a promise that its mistress would protect them. It even had built a semblance of a building which housed the four bodies it was protecting. The humans were afraid of the outside world that they believed the blue furred beast. It was strange to finally have contact with others, but it needed to help them. It was something deep within its core which believed this act of kindness toward these humans would be approved by its mistress. However, the blue beast was not aware of what it had just done...
Thomas woke from her long slumber. Her body was stiff from head to foot and she was a little dazed. The last thing she remembered was the fact that she was standing in front of her beloved and they were trying to stop the evil which would destroy the world. She remembered being in a remote valley where no others had been before and would never set foot on unless it was her wish. However, she felt as if something was not right. Something had disturbed her from her rest. She was still very tired and sore. Thinking, she must have succeeded in her task if she was lying on a soft bed with the covers pulled up to her neck. How did I get in here? How am I here? Where am I?
Thomas slowly sat up. Her spine cracked noisily to realign itself into a semblance of normality. Her muscles were all protesting to the effort it took for her to sit up, but she pushed those feelings away. There was something that had disturbed her. She glanced outside the window of the room she was in and was surprised it was slightly dark and snowing. Her mind tried to fathom what was happening outside. It was also screaming at her that it could not possibly be dark or snowing since the valley she was in was meant to have clear blue skies, be sunny and be summer. There was no way it could be snowing during summer. Her feet hit the wooded floor and she carefully stood up, although a bit wobbly at first. She made her way to the door and opened it to go outside. Her body was rigid in anticipation to defend herself if necessary.
She looked up and down the plain hallway and noticed three other doors besides her own. Dismissing them, she was more curious as to what was happening outside than anything else. Her long legs carried her swiftly to the stairs leading downwards. She carefully manoeuvred down so it was possible for her bright blue eyes to see what lurked down there before whatever that was down there was able to see her. There would be enough time for her to react to the situation. She had magic at her disposal as well and knew she had recovered from the incident enough to perform minor defensive magic. A quick glance around showed her the place was bare and led to another hallway which backtracked parallel to the stairs. She walked around and surveyed this section of the two story house she was in. Noting the living room which was also plain, there was at least a fireplace with nothing inside of it. She found the basic kitchen and even a little area which could be used as the laundry room. Her dark eyebrows hiked up into her hairline at mapping the simple house. She approached the back door and was greeted by woodland without a soul in sight. Navigating around the house to the front, she stopped dead at the side of the place.
Blue eyes, clearer than the sky above, widened in shock at seeing a mix of people staring at the front of the house expectantly. She couldn't quite comprehend what this was about or how it happened. This valley was supposed to be people free. It was also strange there were humans who were standing next to beasts as if they were best friends, loved ones or family. She was even more surprised to see some of these beasts shifting from their beast state to human. Knowing she was capable of performing the unique ability and only her kind, for her to see this was mind boggling. However, the most surprising thing was spotting Furry standing before them in a manner which looked like it was speaking to the mixed crowd.
“Why have you brought us here?” A muscular man asked suspiciously. He was six foot tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. It looked as though he had brought most of his family with him. They were of the same physicality as him. Although there were the odd few who didn't look like family, but they seemed to band together. “What do you want from us?”
“Allen Cal-Michael, of the clan that you have built over the years, how many have you lost?” Furry asked in a deep smooth growl. Its blue fur bristled as several people from Allen's clan took exception to the tone in which the beast had used. “You have lost many although not as many as those before your leadership. I have brought you here for your own safety. This valley is safe and under my protection. I do not want anything except that you stay a day walk from this house. Build homes and live.”
“What about us..?” A woman asked nervously. She was not like Allen's people. A human, she was, like a fair few others who were gathered together in another group. They looked sceptically at Allen's people and at Furry. “What do you want from us?”
Furry smiled and showed its sharp canines which unsettled the humans. Its golden eyes sparkled mischievously as it eyed them. Seeing the fear in their eyes, it knew a few more tweaks would send them running. However, it parted its lips and spoke in a deep growl which rumbled from its chest. “I know you humans are afraid of my intentions, but I swear it on my honour there are none besides doing what is right,” it said solemnly as if making an eternal pledge. “So all I want is to help you by providing you my protection and land where you can have a carefree life. I am tired of watching the outside world without at least trying to provide my services.” The blue beast purred before slightly bowing to the crowd in a servitude pose.
The crowd of people and creatures were awed by this performance. They were not sure on how to react to this and stood there. Some of them were still sceptical of the blue furred creature that had brought them all there. Everyone didn't trust each other and it showed in the glances that were directed between the different people.
Furry could feel the tension in the air and knew it had to speak once more. “I have only gathered those who deserve to be protected and who I know can be trusted. Only people with good intentions reside in this valley and I have the power to distinguish them from you. I will banish those that show signs of ill will toward others. So please keep an open mind, for these people around you can become your friends.” It said concisely from his bowed position on all four paws.
“You want us to trust you and strangers?” Allen asked uncertainly.
Thomas stood where she was. She was still perplexed by the crowd of different people in front of the house. She was even more confused as to why Furry was out there posing as it was. Her blue eyes surveyed the large crowd and could see most looked scared or sceptical. She wouldn't blame them if she didn't know Furry. Slowly, she felt the cool air and knew instantly Furry's magical field around the valley was still active. Her skin tingled as she felt the stirrings of ancient magical energy come to the surface of her skin. It would be so easy for her to transform into her panther like state and return without any repercussions.
Her blue eyes looked high into the sky and could only see dark ominous clouds that promised snow. She didn't mind the weather, but knew it was not natural. Looking on, she could feel the cause of this was a part of her plan to stop the evil which would have spread throughout the world. It was one small price she was willing to pay since it looked as though everyone was still alive.
Thomas took a step forward and wondered if it was a good idea to confront Furry in her condition. However, she was already walking hesitantly toward him and everyone had noticed her. Her walk was sensual and confident, but she could see it in the golden eyes of her friend that she was actually as weak as a newborn kitten. Her blue eyes flickered across the crowd to hush them all with her icy stare before she rested her gaze on the blue beast.
“Thomas.” Furry greeted as its golden eyes looked up at her.
“What is going on here? Who are all these people? What happened?” Thomas asked sternly. She had been sure to give Furry instructions to fortify the valley using ancient magic after the completion of the plan to stop the evil. There wasn't supposed to be anyone else here. “Why are they here?”
“It is best if I explain later, Thomas.” Furry replied hastily. Its golden eyes flared for an instant to show this conversation was best done privately and not among this group of people. It could see she understood this and was surprised she was even awake. “As for the presence of these people, I have brought them here upon her request. She told me to help as many people as I can and I am doing so. I have waited a long while to fulfil that wish since you ordered me to fortify this place.”
“How long has it been?” Thomas ordered. She didn't care whether these people understood her conversation toward Furry or not. The only thing she wanted was answers. She didn't feel like waiting since she felt she had waited long enough. Anyways, she really didn't mind there were people here. It just confirmed that her plan had been successful. Also, what little information the blue beast had given, had showed her quite an amount of time had already passed.
“One thousand years to this day.” Furry replied swiftly.
Blue eyes widened in shock as her lips slightly fell open. Her tongue went dry as she stared at Furry. How can it be possible I have been asleep for that long? I should have woken up a few days after the incident. Something must have gone wrong. This wasn't supposed to happen. What has become of the world then since I have been asleep? She stood there as she felt the many confused eyes upon her. A closer inspection of the crowd revealed her plan must have had some side effects upon the human race. She could feel everyone's essence which was spawned by a human, yet they were different.
“There were four of you at one time.” Furry continued hesitantly as the crowd faded away into the background. It knew they were there, but it could see Thomas wanted answers and she had lost all of her patience from her long sleep. “She disappeared in a blink of an eye. I could not track her. She is beyond our reach now. The other two which I did not recognise had aged. I don't know why they appeared. However, I know they were important and I trust they will one day return.”
Thomas staggered back at the news. How could it be that she was gone? How could she disappear when she promised me forever? Where could she have gone? I must find her… These others I will have to piece together. If they appeared right after the incident, then it can only mean they are connected to her and me somehow… She tried to let her thoughts rationalise the information. Knowing there had to be consequences, now she would figure it all out. However, there were other pressing matters at hand. She had people on her land and they were all pure of heart. Seeing it in their shielded eyes, she knew from Furry that chaos had probably engulfed the world. She could already feel the changes slowly coming to her. The world has moved on without me…
“A human village, two days march from here to the south, will be built. Allen and his clan may build a place to the west…” Thomas continued her instructions and the people filed away to build a new life that was promised to them, a real second chance at life. Blue eyes filed the names and faces away. She would probably be questioned by some of them. They assumed she was the leader and she liked it that way. It was a slight truth, but these were the only commands she was giving. She would not order them around in the future. However, right now they were unsure and frightened. Instructions would make them do something and eventually they would think for themselves.
Thomas had learnt far more from Furry in the next few months. She had to wait another two centuries before she saw her own trap. Her plans to stop the evil had succeeded, but it did more than it was supposed to. She could feel it in her blood, the ancient magic coursing through her veins. Her mirror in her bedroom was mockingly always reflecting the same image back to her. She had not aged in the least; she had stayed the same even though her mind had attained new skills, new abilities. Learning her limits, she was glad Furry had always been there for her.
She had accepted her fate. The world would move on and yet she would forever remain the same. Her interest in the outside world had slowly been lost over the years. She remained in the valley and looked after the people who lived on her land. Always keeping a low profile, she would disappear for years to show some normalcy toward those who lived. She faked her aging and deaths, but never took a partner. Remaining alone was for the best and Furry saw it as that. She knew and so did Furry there was only the woman who had disappeared from their lives who would ever have a place in her life.
More years passed as Thomas found solitude within her room. Even Furry was not welcomed and the beast had taken to the woods, only ever visiting a few times, but never entering the house. She would only watch in a blur as the sky became light during the day and dark during the night. Nothing else mattered, not even food and it showed in her slim form. Eventually her house was forgotten by the people that lived on her land.
It was almost three millenniums since the incident when Furry returned to the quiet house. Fearing the mistress would be found with nothing, but skin and bones, it felt guilty for being driven away when it could have helped. However, it was clear the house was desolate. There was nothing save dust on the wooden floors of the living and kitchen areas. Golden eyes turned to the stairs as its paws traversed easily up to the first floor landing. It could see dust marred this place as well and no sign of life sparked out at it.
Furry turned toward the door it had set aside for Thomas's use only. It was her bedroom, her sanctuary. A wet nose pointed to the door and smelt something odd from the bottom of the door. Paws became hands as the door was opened and the beast bounded inside. Golden eyes were shocked to see she had not changed at all and was once more in a deep sleep as if eternity would not wake her. However, it was shocked to see her abruptly sitting up with blue eyes trained on it. Her words rang in its head… “She's alive!”
Thomas felt her heart beat rapidly for the first time in a long time. She breathed in the clean air as if she had never done it before. Her blue eyes took in her room and saw the dust. She gently closed her eyes and let the world fill her mind. Feeling she had slept for a long time, she had only been awakened by the knowledge her partner was alive. Her vision was filled with snow as she found her valley had changed again. It was slightly busier, but there was fear. She could feel the humans even though they were two days south from the house as she had arranged long ago. Feeling Allen's clan had prospered, she noticed their territory was slowly inching toward her house. She knew the people she had promised to protect were long gone, but she instinctively knew the new names and faces as if she had met them all yesterday.
Blue eyes opened slowly and met golden enquiring eyes. She had neglected Furry and felt guilty for putting her best friend through all those lonely years. Seeing the shadows in the beast's eyes, she took in the unkempt fur that marred its muscular body. “I'm sorry, my friend, for pushing you away.” She said apologetically.
Furry smiled toothily and the sadness in its golden eyes had disappeared instantly. “I should be the one to apologise for abandoning you in your time of need. I am here now and will still serve you. I am your loyal servant, but I am also your best friend as you are mine.” It growled with a toothy smile.
Thomas nodded her head. She would show no other emotion besides joy that her partner was alive somewhere. Hurriedly, she got up and swept the room with her blue eyes. The room was covered in dust save for where she stood and where Furry had been. “I should visit the village and Allen's clan. Who knows what has changed since my long slumber.” She whispered almost to herself as her eyes stared longingly out the window.
Furry felt a brush of warmth pass through its core at seeing life return to those blue eyes. It had been hard to watch all those years before as Thomas reverted into herself and those eyes had lost their spark. It had watched knowing nothing it did could snap her out of it, but still it could have stayed. Maybe she would have not been alone and woken sooner. Now as its golden eyes stared at her, it could see the world had changed once more. “I will accompany you.”
It wasn't long before Thomas appeared just on the outskirts of the village thanks to Furry who had used his magic. She had wanted to walk it, but felt the need she had to be there right at this moment. Her blue eyes scanned the area and she was stunned at the development.
Small farms lined the outskirts with carefully measured fencing as it contained different animals as well as different crops. After the fields, there were the outlying houses made of wood with thatched roofs. Thomas hadn't thought the villagers would use such out-dated building materials. However, a closer look showed there weren't many materials for the villagers to use and they were just making do with what they had on hand.
Blue eyes delved deeper into the village and saw the town centre was made up of a tavern, meeting hall, the law enforcer, the council, and a school. All of these buildings were built with the same material; however, these buildings still held a look of importance. Other smaller buildings held different kinds of shops which sold necessities such as food, clothes and other everyday needs. There were also some shops that were not as important, but more of a hobby such as the antiques store or the toy shop. It was kind of strange since the village only had about two thousand people in it.
Thomas spotted the main road leading into the village and knew she had to take a closer look and get a feel for the place. Her instincts were screaming for her to get in there and look around, meet the people and see what had changed since she last visited. Her blue eyes glanced at Furry who was accompanying her and she had to smile. It looked as though the blue beast was just as excited since it had shifted into a more animalistic image of a big wolf instead of his majestic lion-like look. Even its coat had changed from blue to a muddy grey.
She didn't need any encouragement since she was properly dressed in plain trousers and a shirt with leather boots. Her long legs gathered up the distance between her and the main road within moments. Blue eyes gathered in the sights as though she had never been here before. The place smelt pretty clean since the last visit she had and she was a little curious as to how it had changed. She could see children running around and laughing while the adults were busy getting chores done. There were a few people out in the fields who would glance her way curiously before going back to work.
Her easy-going gait led her to the centre of the village where she saw many people looking at her suspiciously. She couldn't shake the feeling there was something wrong with this picture since everyone seemed to be nice to each other. Not stopping, she headed toward the tavern which doubled as an inn. The Robertson's owned it as far as she knew and wondered if it had changed hands since.
Her leather clad feet touched the weather worn boards of the inn's porch and she heard the slight creak. Her blue eyes noticed this area was deserted when before it had several chairs and tables. She walked through the entrance where the door slammed shut behind her. Several eyes looked over toward her and she noted they were not friendly at all. She decided to head toward the main counter where she took a seat on a stool and rested her elbows on the table. Her back to the crowd, she could still feel the many eyes directed at her.
“No pets allowed, Miss. ” The lady bartender, who walked over and spotted the dog with her brown eyes, said. She was tall and had muscles, but nothing compared to Thomas. With slight greying hair, she wore a dress which was quite flowery and clean. There was also an apron loosely tied around her waist. Already it showed signs of spillage from drinks and food that were offered in the morning. “You'll have to keep him outside or leave.” She said in a no nonsense type manner.
Thomas glanced down at Furry before it left the inn and waited outside without a verbal command. Her blue eyes looked back up at the lady bartender and smiled. She could see the lady was a little startled by what she would perceive as very good training. “What beverages and food do you have to offer?” She asked in a smooth deep voice which was uniquely fitting.
“Do you have coin?” The lady asked flatly.
Thomas was curious since she had never used money within this village. Everything had always been offered to her since she owned the land. She wondered if she had turned into a myth yet. Her eyes raked the lady bartender and gently probed her with a bit of magic. She was able to pluck a few pieces of information from her and was slightly intrigued. So something has been attacking the villagers and they don't know what it is or who it is. They are very suspicious of new people and hold a precarious friendship with the Allen Clan. I wonder if she has anything else that she can tell me… She smiled once more and gazed around at the bar area. She knew that Olivia, the lady bartender, was staring at her and had a large sword close by in case she needed it.
“If you don't have coin, you better leave.” Olivia said gruffly.
“When was the last attack and who were the victims?” Thomas asked in a low whisper so the other occupants couldn't hear her. She smiled as Olivia was intrigued enough to step closer and lean over the counter to whisper back. However, what she had to offer was a little surprising.
“Last night, Jason and Janette were attacked. Their son, Andy, was taken. No one knows what or who it was. Some people think it might be Allen's people. Jason and Janette will be able to tell you more. Jonathon, the sheriff, is over at their place as well as the head council member, Pete. The rest of the council is at the hall. There will be a village meeting around noon . It would be best to attend it if you are a bounty hunter.” Olivia whispered secretively as if she were talking to one of her friends or neighbours and didn't want eavesdroppers.
Thomas smiled. A few questions from her and she was already labelled as a bounty hunter. She had to wonder how this was to be since she could have sworn all evil would be eradicated from the land once it had been detected by either her or Furry. So this incident had been a hoax or something had gone wrong once more.
Thomas awoke with a startle. Blue eyes darted around and she noticed three things. Hattie and Furry were with her. She was in Allen's guest room. Her entire body felt like it was on fire. Every single muscle within her body was protesting and she had to lie back down. Her mouth was clamped shut as she willed the pain into the far recesses of her brain. I need to find out how long I've been out…
She remembered dreaming of the past. Her mind was numb at what she had caused and how she had slowly tried to rectify it with the small area of land she had. By the standards of the twentieth century, it would have been a vast amount of land to own, but now it was a small piece compared to the world. Her thoughts swam back to that night after she had awoken from her long slumber…
Year 5008 AD or 2993 AI…
Thomas scouted the outskirts of the village with Furry. The council had given permission to her to conduct an investigation and bring an end to these attacks. She had been appalled to find out there had been several attacks and Andy was the third child taken. It was true each child was almost an adult, but it was clear this was specific targeting. Each of the parents had been attacked and only the eldest was ever taken. She could understand why it would have been the eldest child since all of the attacks had happened near each of the victim's homes. It was natural for the eldest in each family to try and assist.
“Furry, this is confusing.” Thomas commented as she looked around a homestead she had concluded would most likely be the next targets. Her blue eyes had even tracked down the possible route the attackers would come from. “How is it even possible for this to even occur when you had set up the magical field to notify us of people who are not pure of heart?”
“We should observe for tonight. We will be able to identify the culprits and put an end to this. I am certain the magical field is still active, but I am concerned it may have become weakened over the years. If it is the case, we will be looking at more incidents like this one occurring. However, hopefully we will be able to get to the bottom of this for those people's sake.” Furry explained in a whisper so it wasn't too loud in the darkness.
Thomas agreed with Furry's logic. It would be foolhardy to interfere without getting the proper information. For all she knew, she could be attacking a bystander who just happened to come in the vicinity at this late hour. She didn't want to add to the problems currently happening and she really didn't want to alienate herself either.
Her blue eyes scoured the land for a good place to wait out the night. She was sure another incident would occur and the night after the last which hadn't been the pattern of late. Her eyes raked the trees, but it would be really uncomfortable with the many protruding branches and rough bark. She didn't really think Furry would be up to climbing a tree in the dark either. So she opted to stay in the shadows of the large tree which gave her the best advantage of being able to interfere, if she needed to, or to stay out of sight, but within hearing range.
Crickets noisily chirped the hours away. The dark night with no moon to cast its radiance upon the land, while the thick clouds threatened to dump another bucket load of snow, blue eyes stayed alert. She was warm and not tired, which felt great. Even Furry didn't complain about waiting in the shadows of the tree. She was content to just wait out the entire night without anything occurring. However, she knew it would be this night. Even the council members had tried to deter her, but she wouldn't listen. She had a feeling and she was going to follow her instincts.
Her eyes adjusted to the darkness and finally spotted something unusual. She watched the homestead of the possible victims. There were three silhouettes lurking around the house. They looked humanoid in form and were clearly up to no good. She had spotted out two daggers and a crossbow. The three humanoid individuals were all male and looked like fully grown adults. They were inching around the house and slowly camped under a window where light was streaming out.
She remained where she was and watched. This was no business of hers and she had only come here to deal with the monster who was taking the people. Her muscles twitched in anticipation as the two individuals with daggers climbed into the house through the window. It was obvious they were going to terrorize the family and the bower was to be a lookout for anyone who might see them or stop them. She could smell the blood which would shortly stain the air. The night felt eerie as shadows upon shadows moved around as if there were ghosts. However, she still remained where she was even though Furry was getting restless at doing nothing.
Thomas cringed slightly as she heard a scream render the air. She knew it belonged to Annette who was the wife of Karl, the farmer. Loud bangs and crashes could be heard as a struggle ensued within the household. The bower, who was still perched below the window, looked around to make sure no one had come after the noise. However, she doubted the villagers would hear the commotion since the family homestead was a fair distance away from the nearest house. It was clear no one would be running to help.
Suddenly, Thomas spotted the two individuals with daggers jump out of the window they had entered from. Even the bower was surprised at their appearance. She watched as quick words were exchanged before Annette came running out of the house and was holding a frying pan. The woman looked terribly frightened, but bravely chased the three people into the light of her porch so she could identify them. A loud bang echoed piercingly into the night.
Golden eyes watched with Thomas as Annette had clobbered all three of the perpetrators in one swing of her frying pan. A smile scarcely danced on the rim of its lips as the three men were knocked to the ground. “A strong woman with a frying pan, Annette sure is dangerous.” Furry growled.
“She either misplaced her broom somewhere or didn't have time to grab a knife. I'm thinking it is probably the latter.” Thomas commented. Her blue eyes raked Annette. I guess I'm not needed after all. She handled herself pretty well and now the three men probably have concussions. I wouldn't want to be in their current shoes. She would have laughed if she wasn't still hiding.
All of a sudden, a young girl with white hair and eyes was standing in the middle of the path leading toward Annette. She walked slowly as if hesitant to approach the woman. Her body was clad in simple rags which barely covered her slim body. She looked so out of place and had shocked everyone by her presence. No one had seen her approach, not even Thomas. It was like she had appeared out of thin air, but that was impossible.
Thomas watched in fascination as the young girl stopped a short distance away from Annette. Her blue eyes carefully took in every little detail about her. She could tell there was something about the young girl which screamed at her to pay attention. It felt like she had to approach her and she would have if not for Furry's growling presence. There was something else not right. She felt as though the young girl had been put onto a show and she was the star attraction.
The young girl slightly curtsied in a hesitant manner. She looked scared out of her skin. Her entire being was shaking, although it could have been caused from the cold air. White eyes looked up at Annette who could only stare at her. A slim hand was slowly raised and pointed at the homestead. “Look out!”
Thomas, who had been riveted by the young girl, was surprised to see a strange figure perched on top of the roof of the house. Her eyes narrowed as she identified the creature that had black leathery skin with a small snout and pointed ears. It's a bat beastie shifter. I can feel the transformation from here. A female creature of the night and by day, she is an ordinary woman. I wonder how this development adds to the scheme of things. She felt the tingle of magic slowly rising to the surface of her skin. If something were to happen, she could instantly shift into her beastie form and get down there.
“Don't.” Furry reprimanded.
Thomas raised an eyebrow at her beastie friend. “Shouldn't I be getting down there and sorting out the situation before someone gets hurt?” She asked confusedly as she tried to see where Furry was coming from. Her eyes flashed back to the household as Annette let out a frightened scream at the creature on top of her house. Several people came out from inside including Karl who had blood dribbling down one arm.
“It is too early.” Furry growled.
Thomas glued her feet to the ground. Furry was right. She should stay put for a while longer. There was no indication from the creature that it would attack anyone. Annette's three children were standing ten metres from the house while Karl stood in front of them in case he needed to protect them. Everyone was staring at the creature as an overwhelming feeling of doom began to cascade over the group.
Her hands clenched and unclenched as she waited to see what would happen. She had to watch for a little longer so she didn't misjudge the situation. If it was only a scare tactic, then there was no reason for her to get involved. The council would hear about the incident in the morning and Jonathon would probably bring a group of people into the area to post a guard of some sort. As long as no one got hurt, she could remain standing in the shadows of the tree and watch from afar.
The dark winged creature on the roof of Annette's house opened its mouth wide to reveal sharp teeth as it let out a long and loud screech. It could feel the fear emanating from everyone that watched it. Green glowing orbs pierced the darkness to look up at the path. Seeing the young girl standing there, it knew instantly she didn't belong to this family. Everything about the little girl screamed at her to be warned. So it stayed perched on the roof. It had no intentions of harming anyone.
“Shoo monster.” Annette yelled as she waved her frying pan around threateningly as if it were a long sword. Her brown eyes shone with fear, but her movements were swift and calm even though she felt like cowering away like a frightened child. She knew Karl would protect their children since he was in no condition to deal with the monster. “Get away from here.”
Suddenly, Thomas saw shadows moving in her peripherals. Blue eyes caught the outline of something huge. She could smell damp stinky fur as if the shadow had not heard of a bath before. Following its slow sluggish movements, the creature made its way down the path toward the house. The fine hairs on the back of her neck began to bristle in warning, but she remained perfectly still as four bodies erupted into the air and headed toward the shadowed monstrosity.
She identified the four jumping figures. They were Allen, Sam, Haden and Mitch of the Allen Clan. It was clear Allen was the leader of the group since he was signalling to his comrades on what to do as they approached the huge shadowed figure. They had all shifted into their beastie forms and would have three times the strength of a normal human. She was slightly proud of how well the clan had evolved since it had been her idea to implement a warrior image upon the clan. However, she didn't think they would come this far in her absence.
Blue eyes watched as Allen and his comrades attacked the huge shadow in silence. They didn't want to alert the humans of their presence even though the winged creature could clearly see them. She remained where she was as all of this began to unfold in front of her. The huge creature was lurching toward Annette's homestead. The porch light only just managed to capture the creature and Allen's people.
The winged creature pointed toward the huge monster as well as Allen and his comrades. All eyes turned away from it to see what it had pointed at. Fear escalated as the creature before everyone's eyes was huge, hairy and ugly. It had huge incisors protruding from its mouth. Its enormous round eyes were mud encrusted with yellow oozing puss. Razor sharp claws swiped the air to ward off Allen's and Sam's attacks. The huge monster continued to move forward blindly as Annette and everyone else were glued to the ground and could only stare.
Long limbs stretched to their widest to eat up the distance in a matter of seconds. She had to get there before it was too late. Her mind was screaming at her for not reacting fast enough as her body tried to rebel against the sudden adrenaline. Heart pounding loudly in her ears, she heard her own laboured breath. She knew Furry was trying to follow, but was being outpaced. Lunging through the air, her palms pushed the small body out of the way. She smiled as she saw those white eyes looking at her. Seeing concern in them for her, she knew what was to come next. However, it didn't matter. She had made it in time and saved the small young girl.
“ARGH!” Thomas cried as searing pain blazed along her back. She felt like she had been sliced in half. Warm blood gushed out of her back as her momentum caused her to crash painfully on her left shoulder. Her face was scrunched up in pain as she dug her fingers into the ground. She had to get up and out of the way. Pushing the pain to the far recesses of her mind, she managed to get her feet beneath her and propelled herself out of harm's way. She rolled to a stop and could see the shocked expressions on everyone's faces.
Determinedly, she got up onto her feet. It was clear she had been seriously injured with the amount of blood staining the ground. Her pale complexion and the icy look in her eyes warned everyone to stay away. Her first step forward and ancient magic was brewing to the surface of her skin. Black hair grew all over as her skin melted away. Her clothes were shredded apart as a Black Panther emerged and bounded toward the monster. Blue orbs penetrated the darkness as points of weakness were taken advantage of. Sharp claws extended to their fullest to deliver crucial blows that would hinder the huge creature.
Thomas was so focused on taking the beast down she didn't even realise Allen and his crew had backed out of the fight. She was moving too quickly for them to assist her. They couldn't even keep up with her with their eyes. She was a menacing blur as the creature tried to swat her away. Carefully immobilising the huge creature, she made sure to not get anyone else hurt. She didn't need any more complications. This had now become her fight. Even Furry stayed out of it.
Furry stood majestically on its too hind legs. It had quickly reverted back to its normal beast form to try and help Thomas. However, it had seen the gleam in her eyes and knew not to interfere. There were dangers with helping her and it knew about them first hand. It had become a rule that when she was so involved in her fight, it would stay put. She hasn't lost a step. Golden eyes watched carefully, seeing the blood of the creature and its master staining the dirt ground. A casual glance toward the household members and their unexpected guests, led its golden eyes to be glued onto the white eyed young girl. Could it be her? It's not possible. However, it would explain why she is awake after all of this time.
Furry's golden eyes shifted over to the battle where Thomas was slowly immobilising the huge creature. It could see she was moving extremely well even though she was injured. It could feel her strong emotions as if it were feeling them instead of her. She is protecting the young girl. Her only concern is her. How can this be? She disappeared two thousand years ago… the blue beast knew it had to be her. With the strong feelings and the reason for her awakening, it could only be her. Why now though?
Furry carefully moved around the fight and headed toward the young girl. It moved with care so it was not noticed by the others who were trying to keep up with the battle unsuccessfully. Blue fur rustled as the wind picked up and snow began to gently cascade down to the ground. Golden eyes strayed from its target to settle on the sky. It was shocked by what it saw.
The sky, which had been heavily clouded, was clear and stars could be seen twinkling in all their beauty. Snow fell from an unknown source as the wind picked up significantly that Annette ushered her family onto the porch even though the winged creature was still on her roof. Small pieces of thatch were being pulled into the air and the winged creature landed onto the ground to find some shelter. Its green eyes settled on the white eyed young girl before it saw the warning glare coming from Furry.
Lightning flashed high above and provided a measure of light before darkness reigned once more. Thomas continued to slash and dash as she used her speed to outmanoeuvre the huge creature. She could see how the huge creature was deteriorating under her careful attacks. There was no intention of her killing this creature. There was something deep within her that told her not to end the life of this beast.
She dashed to the creatures left side and slashed the leg there. Her blue eyes could see the creature swinging its arm in retaliation, but she was no longer there. She had rushed to the creature's other side and slashed the other leg as well. Her ears were ringing with the creature's howl of pain. Her sharp claws were bloody with bits of flesh and fur covering them. Ignoring the growing pain which was clawing at the edges of her mind, she jumped into the air and slashed a shoulder. Her pawed feet felt purchase on the ground where she pivoted on the spot and leapt again. This time she aimed for the other shoulder and was thwarted when she only managed a surface wound because of the creature's tail.
She twisted in the air to avoid a clobbering by the creature's tail, only to meet with the creature's claws. A wide slash opened up her side and she was slammed toward the ground. A horrendous scream left her lips as she quickly reverted back to her human form. She could feel her own life force slipping away from her. Her blood was staining the ground and her heart was clenched in fear. I don't want her to see… not like this. Her blue eyes opened and searched the area for the young girl. She was met with white eyes filled with pain and tears at seeing her.
Thomas closed her eyes. Sweat beaded her forehead as she tried to control the pain. She had to move. Seeing the creature above her, she knew one step would instantly end her life. Well, she thought it might since she had never tested this facet of her immortality. Nevertheless, she wished she didn't have to feel like this. Immortal or not, pain was still her unwanted friend. Her eyes were starting to blur as she looked up at the creature. She could see the orange eyes wanting revenge.
She felt ancient magic fill her being once more as she looked deep into those orange eyes. Her body was failing her as she tried to concentrate on what she wanted to do. There was no way for her to move and no one fast enough to help her. She had only herself to rely on. Whispered words drenched in ancient magic burnt their way out of her mouth. “ Somnus atrum creatura…”
Blue eyes, half closed, barely watched as the huge creature sat where it stood. Big round orange eyes started to droop as the compulsion to rest could not be ignored. It closed its eyes and soon was breathing evenly in sleep. She watched in fascination at the sudden change of the creature's aura. It felt menacing when she first felt it and now it was calm as if it were a gentle creature that wouldn't hurt a fly.
Thomas heard the sound of wings approaching. She couldn't move to see what was coming from behind her; she was lying there facing the creature she had fought. Her body was spent as she couldn't even muster any strength to wiggle her fingers or toes. She felt cold female hands touch her and knew they belonged to the winged bat beastie.
“Don't move. I will not harm you.” The bat beastie said reassuringly. Green eyes looked over the wounds which were extensive. She wasn't even sure how Thomas was still conscious. “My name is Rumeria. I am here to help you, Thomas.”
“How do you know my name?” Thomas asked slowly. Her voice came out dry as if she had eaten sand for dinner. Her blue eyes could only see the bat beastie in her peripherals. She was surprised when the bat beastie actually shifted into her human form.
Rumeria was a beautiful olive skinned woman. She had scant clothing covering her petite form. Her green eyes were sparkling even though there was barely any light. She had black hair which swayed with the wind as she lifted her hand tentatively to touch Thomas's wounds. “I am Hattie's friend. She has already left this world, but she will return when the time is right. She told me to seek you out and help you. She believed you were the key to restoring her soul.”
Furry came over as it overheard what Rumeria had explained. It was a little shocked by the information since Hattie was actually the person who had appeared along with Thomas, her partner and the other. It had known her name, but didn't know she had been out of the house to meet the bat beastie. It had always assumed everyone was confined to their rooms in a deep sleep with everyone aging except for the master. It thought Hattie's body had expired and would never be seen again.
“You're a fruit bat beastie.” Thomas commented swiftly.
“Well, what do you know? You actually are right. Everyone else assumes that I'm a blood thirsty fiend from the old fables of the twentieth century. I have never tried drinking blood and I never will. I prefer durian fruit.” Rumeria said cheerily in idle chatter to try and keep Thomas's mind from her condition.
Thomas had the cunning ability to be able to identify a person from their essence. She could even read a person's mind on occasion if her target's mind was weak. Her mind had already identified Rumeria and it was clear she was no threat to anyone present. “I'm not like everyone else.” She explained as she continued to stare at the huge sleeping creature. Her pain signals were screaming at her as she felt soft tentative hands. She wasn't sure what the fruit beastie could do, but hoped she would not feel the agony any more.
Rumeria turned to Furry who was standing just behind her. She could see the concern in its golden eyes and knew it would go to any lengths for this person. “Furry, please help Allen and his people to detain the creature while Thomas heals. I will patch her up and take her home.” Turning back to her task at hand, she ripped the pile of clothes the blue beast had brought over into strips. She would bandage the wounds tightly before attempting to move her patient. There was bound to be some sort of medical kit to cleanse and close up the wounds at Thomas's place.
Furry turned around. It could see Allen and his three comrades already trying to secure the creature. It was going to be a long night if it had to watch them haul the creature back to their land. Blue fur bristled with the wind as it walked over to where Allen was busy with a rope. “I will lend my assistance.” It announced to their surprise.
Thomas felt her mind wander as she tried to ignore what Rumeria was doing. Her blue eyes were now fixed on the sky which was once more clouded heavily. Small flakes of snow were falling down and she welcomed each one since her body felt overheated. I need to check up on Annette and her family. Furry can handle the creature for now. Her thoughts were put to a halt as she felt the presence of Annette.
“Hunter, I'm sorry that you were injured. Please ask anything of us and we will try to provide it. It is the least we can do.” Annette said sincerely. She knelt by Thomas's side and gently placed her hand on an uninjured forearm.
“Call me Thomas. How is your family?” Thomas asked abruptly.
“Well, Thomas, Karl has a nasty slice down his right arm. It's alright and will take time to heal. My children are fine. They were just scared.” Annette answered sincerely. She smiled as her brown eyes looked down at Thomas's pale face. She wasn't sure if she would survive, but it looked as though the bat beastie woman was handling everything concerning her wellbeing.
“What are you going to do with those three men?” Thomas asked as she stoically kept the pain from showing on her face. However, it didn't go unnoticed that she was talking sharply to everyone. Her blue eyes sparkled as she saw the angry gleam in Annette's eyes.
“They are not men at all. They are only Tonya's boys and Jonathon will have an earful for them when he finds out. I'm sure the other families will be angry as well. Apparently the boys have taken the other children to try and coerce them to become rebellious. I don't think those children will though. They are good and well behaved. I'm surprised that they have managed so many attacks without being found out.” Annette ranted half-heartedly.
Thomas sniggered at the explanation. She figured they were more likely to come up with this whole idea to prove to each other they were grown up. However, their ideas were obviously childish. She could even picture what Tonya would do once she got her hands on her boys. “Jonathon won't be able to hold Tonya back.”
Annette smiled in humour at picturing the same thing as Thomas did in her head. She could imagine steam blowing out of Tonya's head while Jonathon had a hard time trying to hold her back from rampaging. “That is so true. She does have a nasty angry streak.”
Rumeria finished with her simple patch up job and looked at Thomas. The pale complexion was a little worrying, but she looked okay. She hoped moving her wouldn't be too difficult as she didn't want to cause more pain to her in her current state. Green eyes had seen the stiffening of her muscles every time the pain escalated. She didn't see any of this on her face and was amazed by her will. Her eyes wandered around and fell onto white eyes. “What do you want to do with her?” She asked concernedly.
Thomas turned her head slightly and found white eyes staring at her. Her heart clenched in fear. Will she recognise me? Will she remember me? I know it is her. It has to be her. Her blue eyes softened at seeing the one person who had convinced her to save the world. She tried to sit up against her better judgement and was forcefully held back by Rumeria.
She wanted to see the young girl's reaction. Wanting to confirm in her head what her heart was trying to tell her. She wanted to believe the person who was responsible for her continued existence was standing a few feet away. It had to be her even though she was only a girl now, not the woman who had talked with her about dreams and other fantasies.
To be continued…
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