It's the year 2013 and Mother Nature has decided that she is tired of the humans mistreating her Earth. She takes all the polution and bad energy and throws it back at the humans. Some humans are not able to take the energy and they die. Some become... different. They change into something else. Some gain powers. Some become dark. Many people take out on their own, but other survivors ban together. A small group of survivors ban together in an attempt to fix the Earth. Can they fix this Hell they have been brought into...?


16. Chapter Fifteen: One Down

I felt my knees buckle and slowly dropped to the ground. “Crap…”

                “Here we are, alone with a person we do not fully trust.” Duo sighed as he crossed his arms. Rissa and Riley slowly walked back onto the scene. They kept a safe distance, sitting under a tree in the cool shade.

                “Huh? Oh, Lina? Don’t worry, you have me.” I said with a reassuring smile. But I felt miserable.

                A hand gripped mine, pulling me off the ground. I hoped it was Lina. She was my rock. Instead, I found the face of Zack. Vaann’s little brother… “Who’s the untrusted one?” He asked.

                I stumbled back in surprise losing my balance. Duo caught me easily, steadying me. “Z-Zack?!”

                “The one and only, hun.”

                “Who are you?” Duo snapped.

                “That’s the traitors brother… and I told you not to call me that.” I grumbled.

                “Nah, I like it. I’ll have to call you something else when you marry my brother like you want to.” He said with a coy smile.

                “Oh, I’m totally over that. He can go screw himself for all I care.” I said waving dismissingly.

                “Yeah, right. That’s why your expression is so fake. And you’re trying to keep from blushing. So, he finally lost it, huh?” If you want to see fake, look in the mirror, I thought.

                “I’m going to go ahead and say this… I don’t trust you, traitor’s brother.” Duo said stepping in front of me protectively.

                “No one does, but I’m not on anyone’s side, so we don’t have to fight.” Zack said with a shrug.

                “I used to,” I muttered, “but I’m not so sure anymore. Why don’t you do us all a favor and go back to Luneth, Zack Shadow.” His cocky smile turned down into a frown. “I’m tired of lies.” I’m tired of crying, I’m tired of being sad, I’m tired of feeling torn, I’m tired of being alone, I’m tired of feeling crazy, I’m tired of being different. I’m just tired.

                “Okay,” Zack said holding up his hands in surrender, “point of me being here: big brother; yeah, he’s insane, but if he asks you to trust him again, I would do it. Pushing it? Yeah, he’s doing that. But this could be getting him close to the Mother, like I am.” He shrugged. “Decision; yours, not mine. But he’s set his mind to something. He won’t give up. He’ll fix it eventually.”

                “So, you’re warning us?” Duo asked.

                “If you want to call it that, sure. I’m his blood relative. This may be him getting the Mother before what she saw happens.” He gestured to me.

                “How do you know what I saw?” I asked clutching the necklace close.

                “But what you think of him is up to you.” Zack said ignoring my question. “Oh! That necklace!” He walked over to me, pulling up my hands. “Did Vaann give that to you?”

                I looked down at it in confusion. “Yeah… why?”

                He smiled and pulled an identical one from his shirt. “Village tradition. Guys have the cross design and the girls have something else that I’ve never seen.” He turned his back to us.

                “What does it mean?” I wondered.

                “Ask Lina, she’ll explain it. Later, hun.” He said walking off. “You must be special…” I just barely heard.

                “Well, then…” Duo sighed.

                “I wish I had someone like that.” I sighed with a light shrug, hoping he’d heard that special thing Zack had said, too.

                “Someone like?”

                I held up the necklace. “Some special.” I felt the words leave my lips, unsure what they meant. I pushed my hair off my shoulders to clip the necklace around my neck. I ran my hands through my hair to fall down my back.

                “That’s what we all wish, hmm? Some people are just hopeless though…” He pointed to the necklace. “That color looks lovely on your skin. It brings out your eyes.”

                I blushed. “Thank you. I’m the hopeless annoying vision girl.” As I clutched the necklace, I felt warm. I missed Vaann…

                “Come now,” he said pointing to himself. “This is automatically cheating. Besides, I’m the freak, Duo.”

                I stood in front of him slowly raking my eyes across his figure. I was observing him like a scientist, tapping my chin in thought. He was blushing slightly. “You’re not that bad. And being two people just means that you have twice the personality!”

                “It’s still weird. I’m weird.” He laughed. “But it’s just us.”

                “We’re all weird. I don’t think me seeing people dying.”

                “I see people dying. Well, you mean in your head…” He said looking ashamed.

                “Yep,” I said tapping my temple.

                “You’re weirder than me now…” Duo said crossing his arms as he observed me.

                “H…hey!” I said not knowing whether to take offence or not.

                “What? I was kidding.” Duo chuckled. “Nothing beats being two people.”

                “I know how that feels. My sister almost had us together once. It was weird. We kept switching back and forth.” I shuddered, remembering.

                “Yeah, that’s how we are. Sebastian tends to say a lot of weird things.”

                “I don’t mind. The others might get bothered by it, but I’m kind of used to weird.” I said nudging him playfully. It was so easy to talk to him. But wearing Vaann’s necklace, feeling it’s warmth in my chest made me feel guilty.

                Duo’s smile got big as Sebastian replied. It was easy for me to tell them apart. “Okay, because I could show you my collection of severed hea- Shush!” Demetrius trembled a bit. “Don’t think like that!”

                I giggled and patted Demetrius’s shoulder. “It’s alright.”

                He smiled. “See, he’s weird.”

                “Eh, it doesn’t bother me.” I smiled back before looking around. “We should probably make camp.”

                “Yes, I don’t have one myself. I’ve been taking refuge in abandoned towns.”

                “Same with us.” I walked over to Marissa and Riley to tell them to make camp, only to find them asleep. Riley was cuddled up against Rissa. Same as usual. “I guess we’re here tonight.” I sat down against a tree as the dark set in. I let out a big yawn. Duo sat in a tree a fair distance from me and the others. I frowned. “Trees are my thing…”

                “What did I do? I always sleep in trees.”

                I laughed and smiled, pulling my knees to my chest for warmth. I felt the necklace get extremely warm spreading the warmth throughout me and I sighed. “I like trees. They make me feel safe.”

                “Nothing is safe to me. Mother could easily make a tree fall on us, yes?”

                “She could but she won’t. If she wanted us dead, we would be already.”

                “Ah,” he said reaching his hand to the left side of his face.

                “What?” I asked.

                “It’s nothing…”

                “Are you sure?”

                “It’s just how close I got…” He said staring off, unsure. “To Her…”

                “How close did you get?” I asked as the numbness ran through me again.

                “I don’t know, but it was close enough for Her to lash out.”

                “I was close to her every day, so…”

                “Well, you’re related to her, no?” He asked tilting his head slightly.

                I sighed. “Well, she’s my Mom… so yeah.”

                “Yes, I really could have killed her.” He said to himself. “I was so close.” He chuckled a dark menacing thing.

                “I’m glad my memories are back. We wouldn’t have gotten this far, with or without Vaann.”

                “Where were you before you found me?” Duo asked curiously.

                “We were all over. Villages, cities, forests and then this town.” I said looking around. The ruins of the buildings were visible just beyond the fronds of the dead trees.

                “Ah, I see. Did you have any supplies?”

                “Not really. We found some food, but not much.” I looked down. I missed food. I loved to eat. I loved the rich tastes. My mouth began to water. I pushed the thought of hot pizza and ice cream out of my mind.

                “Oh… I was hoping you had something. There’s nothing here.” He stared around for a minute before his eyes traveled around and landed on me.

                I reached for my pack I set down beside me, searching through. I smiled when I found what I was looking for. I pulled out a water bottle and a candy bar. “I found these. I couldn’t believe they survived. Want to have the honor of eating the last possible candy bar with me?” I asked with a smile.

                He nodded smiling, “Yes.” I gestured for him to come join me as I fished out a second bottle of water. He sat down across from me as I held out the bottle. He took it with a thankful nod.

                I snapped the candy in half, giving him the bigger piece. “Cheers!”

                “Cheers.” He chuckled taking a small bite. “Jeez, it’s been forever…”

                I took a small bite, smiling at the sweet taste. “It has been…” I quickly wrapped the remaining chocolate and tucked it safely away in my bag. “The others would love some, too. They’re like my sisters. I can’t leave them out.” I said smiling to myself.

                “I’m rationing.” Duo said wrapping his in a spare cloth.

                I laughed and took a big gulp of water, sighing as it ran through me. “Good choice.” I said as I placed my water down next to me.

                “Here,” Duo held out the untouched water bottle. He placed it gently in my hand. “I’ve adapted to be able to drink the polluted water.”

                I held it back out. “No, I want you to have it. I don’t need it. I’d rather you have it than me.”

                “I don’t need it. Save it for the others.”

                I pulled my pack into my lap, opening the top. The pack was filled to the brim with water. “I think there’s enough for the others.” I smiled and tried to hand it back again. “Please take it.”

                He shook his head. “I don’t need it, really.”

                “Please, for me?”

                “Alright…” He sighed holding out his hand. I smiled and placed it in his hand. I was happy when he took it. He placed it to the side as I leaned back against the tree as I stared at the faint stars.

                “I’d like to live amongst the stars.” Duo said more to himself than me.

                “Before this happened, Mother used to tell me, ’Shoot for the Moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the Stars’.” I giggled.

                He chuckled. “I’m not sure she meant that literally. But it seems like a good thing.”

                “I don’t think so either, but it’s nice to remember she actually cared…” My eyes filled with tears, one tear managing to escape.

                “Yeah,” Duo said wiping the tears away with a smile.

                “I wish I could see the world like it was before. It would be nice. But, it doesn’t seem like its heading that way…”

                “Yeah…” He started scratching his left arm. “Argh.”

                I stared up at him from under my eyes lashes. “What’s wrong?”

                He met my gaze, freezing suddenly, like someone has shocked him. It looked like he was blushing, but it was too dark to tell. “S-sorry, that happens.” He began to claw at his arm. “Rrrr…”

                “What is it?” I leaned closer to look at his arm.

                He quickly pulled his sleeve down to cover his arm. “It’s just a burn would...” He was staring into my eyes, making me blush.

                “But what?” I said not moving. My voice was just a breathy whisper.

                He leaned closer to me. “It doesn’t look like one.”

                My cheeks were on fire. “How so?” I felt the necklace burning on my chest, almost throbbing like it was alive.

                His face was just an inch from mine. “I’ll show you tomorrow, ‘kay? We need to sleep.” He slowly pulled away. He moved to sit beside me. We both leaned back against the tree. When I was sure he was asleep I grabbed the necklace, letting the tears pour out.

                What was happening to me?

                I lie there, crying until I finally found sleep.


Vaann’s POV:


                I did it. I was inside.

                I was looking through the room I’d been given. The walls were painted a dainty gray, the paint peeling a bit. A normal sized bed sat against the wall/ besides the nice oak wardrobe in the corner, my room looked like a prison cell. Dark, cold and pretty much empty. There were even big bars on the window and a big iron door.

                “Nothing interesting.” I said to myself.

                I shrugged and made my way to the wardrobe. It was empty except for one outfit and a few weapons. There was big black clunky boots that looked old and worn out. I grabbed at the dark jeans. I sighed and kicked off my old, ragged jeans, replacing them with the new ones and slipping the boots on. Nice fit. Next I grabbed the white t shirt. I stripped off my old, dirty and stained one, pulling my shirt over my head, my hair tie pulling out of my hair. My hair smelled fresh after my shower. My hair was turning back to its dark blonde color. I smiled as I pulled the black trench coat off its hanger. It had brown fur on the collar.

                “Hell yeah!” I said swinging it on.

                I stared at the weapons in the wardrobe. I pulled the sheath that held its sword, staring at the design of the sheath. It was a valley on one side with flowers, a river and sunshine. Blue skies. It was the most color I’d seen in a while. I pulled the sword from the sheath, staring at my reflection. I looked tired. The design on the handle of the sword was amazing. The center was a beautifully colored Earth, vines winding around the handle, green with life. Like the tattoo, but with color. Its blade was black on one side and white on the other. It was vibrant with life. I slid the sword back into its sheath. My knives were lying in the wardrobe. I picked them up, staring at them before placing them in my belt, back where they belonged.

                My mind trailed off to Kate. The knives. Lily trying to hurt my friends.

                My friends…

                I pushed the thought away, shoving toward the door. “Be jealous, Dark, I’m better at using darkness.” I smiled to myself as I walked down the dimly lit hallway.

                “Hey, I know you.” A voice said.

                I stopped and turned around to take in Damien’s cautious form. I clenched my hands into fists. “What of it?”
                “How did you get in here?” He asked narrowing his eyes.

                I stepped closer shoving him. “Real question is how many pieces I’m going to cut you into now that I-“ I cut off, staring at his shocked expression. “Sorry, I’m not attached to those people anymore. I’m not Vaann anymore. And I’m on your side now.”

                He growled as he fixed his very queer looking vest. “Oh, finally came to your senses, huh?” He brushed off his shoulders. “How is my little Kate?” I wanted to snap him in half. His...

                “Well enough,” I said keeping my cool. “Undamaged; other than mental damage from visions and her idiot sister.”

                Damien shook his head. “I figured Anisa would try something stupid. That’s not how you someone love…”

                “Don’t talk to me about love…” I grumbled. Especially Kate…

                “Oh, that girl?” He gave a teasing smile. “What was her name….Lindsay?”

                Sure, why not? “Lyllina.”

                “Yeah, her.”

                I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, quickly changing the subject. “So, what is there to do around here?”

                “Well,” he looked around for a second in thought, “not much except to train and make your own fun.”

                “Sounds boring…” I said wanting nothing more than to be away from here. Away from Damien, away from the base. Away from it all. “But I should get better at using this sword thing. I’ll go train.” I pushed passed Damien, looking for a way out. I walked blindly, trying to find a place to train.

                I stopped at a big set of iron double doors. They were at the end of a hallway I had never been down before in the north wing. My room was stationed at the very end of the hall in the west wing. Kate and Anisa’s room was also in the north wing. I’d passed it. I wanted to go back and peek in, but the last thing I needed was to be caught snooping. I remember a guard had told me Damien’s room was in the south wing. He’d be far from here by now. I made my way toward the double doors. If I got in trouble, I would tell the truth. I was looking for somewhere to train.

                I pushed the doors out of my way. The smell of sweat and rubber poured out on me. The room was filled with all kinds of weapons. The floor was padded and in the corner was a weight lifting station.

                Seems legit, I thought.

                I headed over to where the training dummies sat. I thought about starting with the sword, but a big dark bow caught my eye. I smiled and grabbed it, the weapon feeling oh so familiar. I removed my sheath, replacing it with the quiver of arrows. I loaded my arrows, focusing. I aimed right for where the eyes of the dummy would be. As I exhaled a long cleansing breath, I released. The arrow found its home right between where the victim’s eyes would be.

                I smiled in satisfaction, observing my work. I knocked another arrow aiming for the next dummies heart. I imagined Damien behind that aim. His cold hearted glare, his empty eyes. With a growl, I released. It went right through the entire dummy, stabbing into the wall.

                I smirked, one down.

                I knocked another arrow, aiming for the remaining dummy. Anisa. I hated her. So did Kate. I would end her. With a breath I let the arrow fly. It landed right in the neck. With a growl, I ran and snatched the arrows from the dummies, kicking them back. I couldn’t take it anymore….


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