Shadowfall

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...?

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15. Chapter Fourteen: A Traitor's Necklace

 

                Vaann stopped in front of us, staring at Riley, Duo and I. his eyes stopped on me for a second, like he was studying me. I felt myself flush. I hated when people stared at me. Duo hissed to himself, causing me to glance at him.

                “V-Vaann, this is Duo.” I said waving my hand toward him.

                “Cool name. At least you aren’t name-less anymore.” Vaann chuckled. He looked back to Riley. “Finally, someone other than me. Used to be she clung to me all the time.” He smiled a bit but it didn’t really reach his eyes. “She’s finally opening up to people.”

                I stood up, marching away. It was stupid. I couldn’t even stand to watch Riley, the girl who was like my sister, clinging to Duo. It gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Almost like a bee stinging me internally, but I was nauseas as well. I heard footsteps behind me and sped up. The feet mirrored me. I looked up as Vaann stepped up beside me and I slowed down to a stop. Duo was watching us.

                “Hey, Queen of Annoying,” Vaann muttered as he stopped beside me.

                “Hello, King of the Morons.” I replied glaring up at him. I placed my hands on my hips, longing to growl at him. “Why do you hate me all of a sudden?”

                “I don’t.”

                I crossed my arms with a light scoff. “Sure seems that way…”

                “Well, I don’t.” He said frowning down at me.

                I felt warmth rush through me as my brain began to hurt. No visions now… please! But it wasn’t a vision. It was a memory…

 

Anisa and I had been little. Only around five or six. Mother was watching us play with our dolls. Each had been specifically designed. One looked like Anisa when she grew older, one like Damien and one like me. Thought, Anisa hadn’t even met Damien yet. I stood and walked over to my Mother, showing her the pretty braid I’d made on my doll.

                “Mama? Will you make me one too?” My voice sounded so much smaller. So much happier.

                She leaned forward with a smile and pulled me into her big lap. I always loved sitting with my Mother. She was so big and I fit into her arms perfectly. “Of course, sweetheart.” She crooned, pushing my hair so it fell down my back. I could feel her quick fingers moving easily.

                Anisa jumped up and skipped over. “Me too, Mama! I want to look just like Katie! She’s so pretty!”

                “I will braid yours next, Anisa darling.” Mother said to her.

                “Mama?” I asked, playing with my dolls plaid skirt.

                “Yes, Kate?”

                “Can we make new dolls?” I begged excitedly.

                “Of course, how many?”

                “Five.”

                “Five? Alright, I guess.”

                “No, six!” I said as I counted on my fingers.

                Mother was hesitant before she sighed. “You have to make them, honey.”

                “I know, Mama!” I giggled.

                I gently jumped off her lap to run over to Anisa. She giggled before running over and was pulled into our Mother’s lap. I made my way toward the basement. My sister and I had always made our own toys. I was running through names in my mind, deciding their hair color, eye color, structure. A process that seemed too complicated for a girl at my age.

                I stopped in front of the box of doll frames, sifting through them carefully. Three boys and three girls. I moved on toward the hair. Where Mother got the hair, I’ll never know. But I was young. I didn’t think anything of it. I picked up long black hair and stared at one of the males. Obviously, the older. A hand came in front of me, placing the hair to the dolls head. Her hand glowed a rich orange color. The hand pulled away and the hair was attached to his head. I smiled up at my Mother happily.

                I pulled out more black hair for the other, youngest boy. Mother repeated her actions, attaching his hair. Next I pulled out white and some black hair. Mother furrowed her eyebrows before sighing and attaching the odd mixture of hair. I moved onto the females. The youngest had wavy dirty blond hair. One girl had pale blond hair, almost white. The last girl had reddish blond hair that was wavy as well. I picked out each ones clothes easily, sewing and cutting, focusing so much, my brain was pounding.

                Mother sat down in front of me. “What color do you want their eyes?” She asked.

                I held up the oldest male. “Blue eyes. But his left eye is lighter than his right.” I handed her the doll. She worked on his eyes before holding him back out to me. I frowned, something was missing. “Hair tie?” I begged. Mother smiled and pulled one off her wrist and handed it to me. I tied his hair back and smiled. Perfect. I held up the next one. “He has blue eyes too. Can I cut his hair?”

                She took the doll, replacing it with scissors. I began cutting the last males hair while Mother worked on the other doll. Mother handed back the doll and I began chopping his hair. I handed back the scissors when I was satisfied. “What color are his eyes?” Mother asked, reaching for the doll with the black and white hair.

                “His left eye is red. The right eye is blue!” I giggled throwing my hands up.

                “Good choice.” She said with a smile. I reached for the females.

                Mother handed back the male. I pointed to the pale blond. “She has pretty sky blue eyes. And this one,” I said pointing to the wavy dirty blond, “has pale blue eyes.” I picked up the last one. “She has brown eyes with a greenish color in it.”

                “You’re so creative.” Mother said working on them. Anisa walked up beside her and sat down taking my hand.

                “Did you name them?” Anisa wondered. I nodded.

                Mother held up the youngest male with the shaggy black hair. “What’s his name?”

                I took the doll and hugged it. “That’s Zack!”

                Mother held up the youngest girl with the wavy dirty blond hair and light blue eyes. “And her name?”

                “Riley,” I smiled taking the doll and hugging it. She held up the reddish blond. “That’s Marissa. But I think Rissa sounds prettier.” I picked up the pale blond. “Her name is Lyllina, but I want to call her Lina!” I said hugging the doll close to my heart.

                Mother held up the last two men. “And these two?”

                I stared at them for a second before taking the odd one, leaving her with the long haired male. “They both have multiple names. His name is Duo! I named him that. He used to be two people, but then something bad happened.” I pointed to the white side of his body. “This was Demetrius. And this one,” I said tapping the black side, “was Sebastian.” I held the doll tightly. “Riley likes to call him Deti though.”

                “What are his names?” Mother looked pale as she held up the last doll.

                I took it and gave it a hug, adding a small kiss to his cheek. “Mama, this is Vaann. But his real name is Luneth.”

                Anisa stared at me. “That’s cool, Katie! I love having a smart sister!”

                I giggled. “I love you too, Anisa!” I said leaning into her arm. My Mother smiled at us, but her face was still pale. She stood and gave us a low and graceful bow. Anisa and I stood immediately and gave her a small curtsey back. I was still gripping my Vaann doll.

                As I watched the smaller, younger me run off with my sister, my jaw dropped. Even as I child I sensed the future. It wasn’t just the Toxins that mutated me. I was a Prophetess.

                My sister tugged me to our room and hopped onto her big blue bed. I hopped onto my big purple one beside it, staring at my new dolls. I smiled and placed my doll between Vaann and Marissa. I thought back to what the younger me had said.

                Luneth?

 

“Don’t fight or I will kill you,” Duo’s voice said bringing me back from my revere. I saw a small flash of walls in the basement. D was written on one wall. U on the next. O on the last. It was written in my writing. D-U-O. Duo. The warmth turned into a blazing fire. My vision of so many years came back to me. A vision of me standing hand in hand with Duo, looking over a cliff at the New World. We’d done it! The world was beautiful again. I waved to my friends and brought small Riley in my arms, spinning her in a circle. I shared a big hug with Rissa and Lina before making my way to over and throwing my arms around Vaann. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to look at Zack. I hugged him too before Duo walked over to take my hands. He leaned down to kiss my forehead and the vision faded.

                Anisa didn’t mean Vaann. He wasn’t the boy that meant so much to me. It was Duo. I didn’t love Vaann, I never did. Did I? Though, as I looked upon him now, I saw a friend. I saw my family. He was my brother. I flushed as I looked at Duo. They didn’t seem to notice my stares.

                “We aren’t fighting,” Vaann said placing his arm on my head to lean on me like I was a wall. Curse my shortness. I swatted him away and he chuckled.

                “Arguing qualifies as a fight. And don’t look at me like that, woman.” Duo said glaring toward Lina. She was standing beside me. I jumped. I hadn’t seen her return.

                “Since you’re one of us, it won’t be much of a fight,” Vaann said bringing my attention back to him. “I won’t retaliate. If any of you fight me, I won’t fight back. I’d rather die than hurt any of you.” I smiled and nudged him with my hip. “Meh!” He blurted, nudging me back. I stumbled a bit, but he caught my elbow to steady me. I giggled a bit patting his hand in thanks.

                “I can look at you how I please!” Lina said, her glare getting even harsher than it already was. It seemed almost impossible.

                “Lina. Stop. Now.” Vaann said glancing to her.

                Duo’s voice was a dark growl, his razor sharp teeth sparkling. “Then I can harm you how I plea-“ His voice cut off and Demetrius took over. “Ignore him... I don’t want to fight, so can you stop looking at me so harshly?” I walked over to Duo and placed my hand on his arm. It was rough beneath my fingers, but felt homey. His body reacted instantly, his tense muscles relaxing as he sighed in relief. I saw Lina duck out of sight.

                Where was she going?

                “Thank you…” He whispered to me. “And I’m sorry!” Duo called more loudly, most likely to Lina.

                “It’s not a problem,” Vaann said, mistaking the apology to Lina as one to himself. “She’s like this a lot, please forgive her. All the things that are happening have changed her. She wasn’t like this before and it worries me a lot. But she is a good person.” His face was full of concern as he glanced in the direction she’d exited. I could feel the concern on my face too. Lina was important to me. I couldn’t stand to see my family hurt.

                “Oh, sure, forgive the freak…” I heard Lina say mockingly to herself.

                I suddenly whimpered as I felt the pain seep into my brain. I grabbed at my head, squeezing my eyes and mouth shut as I gasped for breath. Duo’s hand came to my shoulder, leaving a burning sensation beneath it. “What, Kate?”

                “Vision again…” Vaann said.

 

 

I shared a glance with Vaann as we stood before the base. The Mother’s base.

                Duo was standing beside me as Rissa gripped my hand. Riley was gripping the bottom of my shirt.

                The doors opened and three figures stepped out. Zack was front and center. His arms were crossed and he was staring at Vaann, Anisa and Damien flanked Zack on either side. Anisa’s arms were at her side as she stared at me. I reached out to grasp Duo’s hand. He could feel my shaking. He gave my hand a light squeeze. Damien was looking back and forth at Duo and I.

                I heard Lyllina scream, though the three had made no move toward us. Zack was smiling. I looked just in time to see Lina fall, a wide gash in her stomach, a knife still lingering. Vaann held his remaining knife in his hand. Lyllina was lying in a pool of blood. I shoved Riley and Marissa off in opposite directions, willing them to run. I took a stance as Vaann stalked toward me. Duo shouted something to Riley as Damien and Anisa rushed up on Riley. Duo ran to her rescue, easily chopping Damien’s head from his shoulders. It fell to the ground at my feet with a sickening thud. My stomach churned as I kicked it away.

                I turned back just in time to see Vaann slit Marissa’s throat.

                “No!” I screamed running at him. I felt hands wrap around me to hold me back. “Let go!” I sobbed angrily. I saw Riley take off for the woods. Anisa was lying face down, her head and neck in an odd direction. Duo was whispering in my ear, begging for me to calm down. He shushed me as we both sank to the ground as I sobbed.

                I heard Duo gasp and my head snapped up. He tried to turn us away, but it was too late. I heard Zack screaming. He was begging to Vaann… to me… I struggled in Duo’s arms. He had me too tight. Vaann was ripping his brother apart, arms, legs and then finally, his head. Then he smiled and looked to us, pure blood lust flooding his eyes.

                Duo spun us around, yelling at me to run. I stood and spun to watch the horror before my eyes. Vaann was shooting at Duo. He used every single arrow, piercing him in every vital organ and vein, saving his heart for last. My heart stopped as he fell back with a thump. Vaann dropped his bows and ripped off his quiver, grinning at me. He pulled his knife.

                I let out a loud screech. “I. Will. Kill. You!” My vision was tinted red as my claws ripped from my fingers and my teeth exploded into large razor sharp fangs.

                Then, nothing.

                Just darkness.

                “Kate?!” Vaann called. I walked forward, feeling numb and empty, my hands searching.

                “Vaann!” I yelled back.

                I felt hands grip mine, entwining their fingers through mine. Duo? I thought, but no, he was gone. I felt arms wrap around me, pulling me closer. I could feel Vaann’s hair fall against my forehead. I folded myself into his arms, letting out a sob.

                “Kate…” He whispered.

                “What happened? Why did you kill them!”

                “I didn’t want to. I’m sorry.” His arms tightened around me and he shoved his face into my shoulder. He was shaking.

                “Why do I feel empty? Why can’t I see?” I begged sobbing loudly.

                “Because, she’s gone.”

                “Lina?”

                I felt him shudder. “No, the Mother.”

                “She killed herself?” I asked pulling back. “Where are we?”

                He held onto my hand. I still couldn’t see his face. “We’re stuck in between.”

                “Where?”

                “The World and the Mother. We’re stuck.”

                “Who else is here?” I had stopped crying, attempting to find his eyes. I hated that I couldn’t see. Why wouldn’t my eyes just adjust already?

                “No one… because I…” He trailed off.

                “You killed them.” I finished for him, pulling my hand away as I stepped back.

                “Don’t go!” He said lurching forward in the darkness, crashing into me. “Please! Don’t leave me here alone!” He said grabbing my hands.

                “Why don’t you kill me? I can’t be here. My family is waiting for me…” I whispered.

                “I don’t want to be alone. Please…” He whispered back.

                “But you deserve it…” I told him flatly.

                “I do,” he sighed. “I know I do. I deserve it and so much more. But, I can’t be alone. I’m sorry.” When I didn’t answer, he spoke again. “I know you, Kate. You won’t leave me here. You love me.”

                “No, I don’t love you. I mean, I don’t think I do.” I admitted shaking my head in confusion trying to clear my mind. “But I know I do care about you.” I threw my arms around his neck. “I’ll stay with you.”

                “Promise?”

                “I promise.”

                Then, it all faded into an eternity of Nothing….

 

 

I could feel someone’s arms around me, holding me against them. I knew it was Lyllina before I could even see. I gasped as my eyes snapped open and I began my violent struggles.

                “Kate? Kate?!” Lyllina said hushing me in an attempt to calm me.

                I pushed from Lina’s arms, folding my knees to my chest, folding in on myself. “It was nothing.” I said trying to keep my tears from escaping. Lina was looking at me in concern. I felt the traitor tears run down my face and cursed myself silently.

                “Kate, what is it?” Lina begged.

                “Kate…” Duo whispered.

                I could still feel Lina holding me in her arms as I began to physically shake. Vaann knelt down at our side, staring down at me. Even Rissa and Riley were gravitating closer. I felt like I was being suffocated.

                “What’s wrong, Kate?” Duo asked stepped closer.

                My eyes flickered from Duo to Vaann and back again. “It… it was…” I shuddered, unable to say the words.

                “It was what?” Duo asked raising an eyebrow.

                “It was… nothing.” I whispered.

                “What happened to constantly talking? Spill it already!” Vaann said.

                “I just told you! I saw nothing. It was the Army and the Mother and then nothing, zip, nada, nothing.” I left out the part about Vaann and me… alone in that Nothingness. How he killed everyone. My breath quickened when my panic set in. “Just complete darkness. And I couldn’t breathe, like someone was choking me, but I couldn’t see…”

                I felt Vaann’s hand wrap around mine, the same feeling of desperation from the blackness. Like he knew what I was hiding. His eyes were wide as he stared at me. Then he dropped my hand. “Shit… not good…” He stood up quickly. Duo was looking down, grinning darkly. I didn’t realize I was still shaking until a sob ripped from my chest.

                Vaann was pacing back and forth in front of Lina and I. My blurry eyes were following his figure. “She shouldn’t. No, not possible. Well, it is… but…” He stopped and stared down at me. His next words sent a chill down my spine. “We may have lost already.”

                “Th-the future can always change r-r-remember?” I tried to smile at him around my tears, but I know I just looked like a crybaby with a big snot issue.

                “Maybe if I’m out of the picture.” Duo said softly, bringing my eyes to him. He had his hands shoved in his pockets, looking lost. “You haven’t had visions like that before I joined, right?”

                “All her visions come from exposure to the Mother’s energy. Mother’s thoughts, emotions and motions are all key factors in what Kate sees. She saw you because the Mother did. She saw black, which means the Mother is out of options,” Vaann said. Throughout his entire little speech his eyes were flickering between Duo and I. It terrified me that Vaann knew more about me than I did. Like I was an open book to him.

                “I-I’ve had visions like this before.” I had to stop to take a deep cleansing breath before I continued. “All of them are mostly about death. Except finding you.” I said giving him a smile.

                “But why did she see me?” He wondered.

                “She sees all of us. We are moving targets and the Army is her gun.” Vaann said seriously.

                All of a sudden, I jumped up. “She can’t be out of options yet! She has Damien, she can’t be!”

                “Let me reword that,” Duo said crossing his arms. He spoke all his words slowly, making each distinct and individual. “Why did it become a vision? And she’s out of options…? What will she do?”

                “It became a vision because, unless we change it, that’s our future. It’s like a warning almost.” I walked over to Duo and gave him a playful smile. “I hope you can fight.”

                He smirked down at me. “I can fight.”

                I was so caught up in Duo that Vaann’s voice made me jump. “The Mother will kill us all in one shot.”

                “By committing suicide.” We whispered in unison. I stared down, remembering the consuming darkness. I looked up to meet Vaann’s gaze and felt ice run through my veins.

                “If she destroys herself, the Earth goes too. And so do we.” The ice in my veins was slowly replaced with a rapid beating, almost like I was suddenly pulsing along with my heart. I could feel a presence behind me.

                “Vaann?” I whispered, feeling the blood retreat from my face.

                “Correction, if she kills herself with the same pollution that killed Earth.”

                “Vaann?” I said raising my shaky voice.

                He looked over registering my state. He walked over feeling my forehead. “What? What’s wrong?”

                I tried to keep my eyes from the trees. “Please, just kill me now.” I begged in a whisper.

                “Now, sissy dear, that’s no way to speak!” My sister’s cold voice called from behind me. I felt my shaking increase and dove into Vaann hugging him close. He gasped before hesitantly hugging back. His head was inclined toward Anisa.

                “Go away.” He said angrily.

                I heard her growl as she ripped me from Vaann’s arms. “I wasn’t talking to you, filth!”

                “I agree,” I said stepping back. “Go away!”

                “Who’s this fellow?” Duo said stepping closer. I saw Lyllina leading the other two girls away to hide.

                “A whore,” Vaann said, making me crack a smile.            

                Anisa stepped closer to Duo, scrutinizing him, giving him a once over. “Is this idiot blind?” She asked making my blood boil. She flipped her hair making her look like a spoiled brat.

                “My annoying sister,” I told Duo.

                “Didn’t you die in a hole yet?” Vaann grumbled.

                Anisa ignored Vaann, a smile playing across her face. She walked passed Duo to me. “Kate, darling, did you see it?” Her voice was almost a menacing hiss in my ear. My body went incredibly still and I shook at Anisa’s light touch. My breath was shaky as she ran her hands slowly down my arms.

                “Yes.” I whispered my voice wavering.

                “God, I hate her. Yes, I’m blind. Mostly blind.”

                “I said die in a hole!”

                Anisa ignored them. I could hear a smile in her voice. She had me right where she wanted me. “Did you feel it?”

                “Yes…”

                “Did you feel it ending? Did you hear your friends screaming?” I stared at Vaann in desperation. I grabbed at my head as the images flooded back into my head, falling to my knees in surrender. “Did you see their blood?” I could hear myself whimpering in the echo of my mind.

                “Can I strangle her?” Duo asked with a growl.

                “Can’t touch her,” Vaann informed him.

                “Why not?”

                “It’s impossible. The Mother protects that bitch.”

                I opened my eyes looking to my friends. They just stood to watch my torture. Duo was trembling angrily. Vaann was clenching and unclenching his fists like he always did when he was frustrated. He looked like he wanted to punch something. “Help…” I mouthed, unable to form the words.

                “Tell me,” Anisa said pulling me off the ground by my hair. I cried out. “How does your new friend die?” She smiled and used her free hand to point at Duo. “How about Vaann? And Zack…?”

                I cringed, breaking from her hold on me. “Shut up! Shut up!

                An arrow suddenly flew through Anisa, finding its home in a tree where her heart was. The wall exploded, sending me flying. I landed at Duo’s feet. Anisa was in place, unharmed. Vaann was visibly shaking with anger. “Shut the hell up! You are not to say Zack’s name!”

                Anisa’s cold gaze was locked on Vaann, her face clean of all emotion. “You really thought the Mother would spare him? Zack. Not a chance.” She turned back to me. “His screams were like music, right sister dear?”

                “You little whore! I said shut the hell up!” Vaann said, stepping closer to me. Duo gripped under my arms, pulling me to my feet. I leaned into him weakly as he supported most of my weight.

                Anisa’s grin got bigger as he fed the fire. “It must be a good way to die. Having his big brother rip him apart piece by piece by-“

                I felt something in me change as a feral snarl leapt from my lips. Vaann stared at me in shock as I shoved out of Duo’s capable hands. I was in front of Anisa in the blink of an eye, my vision going red. I slapped her with all the force I had, sending her flying into the ruble. “I told you to shut up!”

                “You can touch her?!” Duo asked in shock. “Strangle her for me!” He yelled to me.

                Vaann shot his arrows as he panted heavily. “I will kill you! I won’t kill them! I won’t kill any of them!” Them? She’d only said he would kill Zack. He knew just as well as I did. Vaann was breathing heavily as he sent his last arrow flying, having no effect. “You bitch…”

                Anisa stood with a smile as she wiped the dirt away. She made me sick. “That’s what you think. Won’t it be fun to hear him begging?”

                Vaann crumbled to the ground with an agonized scream, filling me with a new pain. A pain that throbbed not in my head, but in my chest. He chucked his bow blindly, aiming for Anisa. Duo jumped away with a ‘hey!’ as the bow merely missed him. Anisa was laughing evilly.

                “Stop it!” I screeched throwing myself at her. She was pinned to the tree beneath us. I held my claws up to her face. “Stop it now or I will slit your throat.” She didn’t move her gaze.

                “I’m not going to do this…” Vaann said in a raspy voice as he slammed his head into the ground. That wouldn’t stop Anisa…

                “Anisa, stop it and look at me!”

                “Why, and let him miss his brother?” I brought my claws to her throat, letting them dig in, her skin turning white with the strain beneath them, begging to be split open. She smirked. “Do that and you lose.” I growled and grabbed her face, dragging it to mine, forcing her to look at me.

                I heard Duo slowly making his way toward us. “Tell me, love,” his voice said taking on a thick British accent as Demetrius took over. “Have you ever wondered what would happen when the Mother got tired of you?”

                Anisa’s eyes flickered to Duo. “I’m her daughter, she wouldn’t.”

                I slammed her back into the tree, causing her to gasp. “Stop talking and listen to me.” I growled.

                “But if you grow too weak for her little game, wouldn’t she just send you off as useless trash?” Duo’s eyes flickered to me, burning me with his eyes. “Let her talk to me.”

                “No! I want her to leave!”

                “Let her go.” He said so gently that I glanced to him. Something in his eyes told me I should trust him. I slowly released my grip and hesitantly stepped away. “Anisa, come here, please.” He smiled, oddly calm. Anisa glided closer to him, her feet not even seeming to touch the ground. She was interested in what he had to say. “Do you know who I am, Anisa?”

                I backed away from the two, making my way to Vaann. I knelt beside him. His heart was beating rapidly in my ears. He was unharmed except for a small bump on his forehead. I rolled him onto his back, gently pulling him into my lap. He woke up with a scream as he jumped up. Tears were running down his face as he clutched his knife in his hand so hard his knuckles were turning white. I stood up slowly, shushing him. I reached up to wipe away his tears with my sleeve. He stared down at me like a scared wild animal. I grabbed his hand that held the knife, willing him to loosen his grip.

                I spoke slowly and softly. “Vaann, drop the knife. It’s okay, it wasn’t real.”

                He stared down at our hands. “It wasn’t real…”

                “She was just torturing you,” I explained. “None of it was real.” I felt bad for lying to him, but it seemed like the only way. I started easing the knife from his hand. “It wasn’t real.”

                “I-I… I stabbed Lyllina…” He released the knife and it clattered to the rocky ground between us. “And Riley… She was the only one left… and then…” His wide eyes met mine. I knew he meant the darkness.

                I quickly kicked the knife away. “You’d never hurt any of them. They’re fine…”

                He smiled a ghost of a smile. “You never saw this, Kate. Why lie? She can’t do this to you, because she’s part of you. She’d tear herself apart.”

                “I know what you saw. Trust me,” I said flinching. “I know.”

                “I don’t think you do.,” he said looking away. His eyes landed on Duo and my sister. “Anisa, did the Mother leave a mark on you? Like a tattoo?”

                Anisa turned her eyes to Vaann. “My mark is on my heart. One false move and she could end Kate and I. I’m surprised she hasn’t already.”

                “Walking time bombs…” I whispered.

                “Oh, you’re like suicidal pawns in her game?” Duo suggested. He didn’t know how right he was. That was exactly what we were.

                “Your vision started as a nightmare. Now it only brings truth. Truth that shows me why I dismember you all.” His eyes came to a halt on me. “Kate, do you remember the mark on Zack’s arm?”

                I blinked. “Yes, why?”

                Vaann walked to me and took my hand as he turned around. He placed my hand to his lower back, on the bottom of his shirt. I looked at him for a second before lifting his shirt. I covered my gaping mouth with my free hand. My hand on his shirt began to tremble. I stared in horror at the mark of the Mother stationed in the middle of his back as he spoke.

                “I remember our last name now. It explains so much.” I dropped his shirt as he turned to meet my eyes, as if he was confessing his newfound secrets to me alone. “Why I was able to control the dark energy so well in my fight with Dark. Why the Generals came after me. I’m a pawn in this game of chest too.” He turned to stare at Anisa. “Is this why you wanted to speak to me so badly, Anisa?”

                “There was many different reasons.” Anisa’s voice was as emotionless as her face. She looked tired.

                I stepped in Vaann’s view, knowing my face looked ashen. I prayed he meant something else. “You’re confusing me, speak English….”

                Anisa suddenly kicked off the tree she was leaning on, walking gracefully to Duo. “Do you want to know how to kill me?”

                Oh no, not again.

                “Yes, I would.” He said with a nod.

                “It involves a bond with my sister. Blue Eyes was too stupid to figure it out. But maybe you’re smart, hmm?” I felt my cheeks turn pink.

                “I was never stupid. I offered, she said no and we both moved on.” Vaann cut in in his defense.

                “A bond with your sister?” Duo said ignoring the others around him. His eyes locked with mine. “Do tell more. Unless that’s all you had to say.”

                “I couldn’t care less about killing you if it meant having a bond with your annoying little sister.” The acid in Vaann’s voice made me cringe away.

                “V-Vaann?” I whispered the hurt clear in my voice. I was unable to mask it anymore. I’d reached my breaking point.

                He held up his hand shaking his hand. “Not Vaann. Luneth… Luneth Shadow.” I gasped, hearing the name of the doll I’d made so long ago. “Vaann was a fake name. It’s what I adopted after the genocide. I’ve been part of the Army this whole time, but never noticed it.”

                “Luneth…?” I breathed in disbelief. It felt like a miracle as the name left my lips. I couldn’t explain it.

                “Piecing it together, Kate?” He asked as he walked to stand by my sister. “You have been with the enemy this whole time.”

                I felt the blood drain from my face again, leaving me with a numb alone feeling. “Wh-what?” My voice sounded as tired as Anisa’s had.

                “Zack and I have the mark of the Army on us. And the last name of it,” Vaann continued as if he hadn’t heard me. He looked like he was in some sort of daze. “Plus, you’ve had multiple visions of me killing you and the others.” He suddenly stepped forward, gliding toward me. He picked up a strand of hair from my shoulder playing with it as I stared off in shock. He was smiling a deadly smile as he leaned forward to whisper in my ear, making me shiver. “Especially you.” He leaned back slightly. “Her vision showed me the mark and my name. It explained everything.”

                “That doesn’t mean you have to follow her!” I whispered brokenly.

                He grinned evilly as he dropped my hair, tracing my arm with his cold fingers. They left a trail of fire behind it, though his touch was like ice. I shivered violently, like a blizzard had erupted. The knife flashed in my mind…. And the blood. His smile was so much like my first vision… where he’d killed me. I was deathly pale in the reflection of his eyes. “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Either way, all your visions are coming true, my dear.”

                The tears stung in the back of my throat as my eyes filled with tears, making it harder to breathe. I scoffed sarcastically. “So, I guess I see who the real enemy is…”

                His smile got wider as he watched my pain. “Yes, you’ve been betrayed again. How does it feel?”

                “Like crap!” I said throwing my arms up. “You were the one person I fully trusted!” I admitted as I covered my mouth as a small sob broke out of my chest. His smile disappeared.

                “Ah… now I see. Can I hurt him?” Duo narrowed his eyes as he stepped up, half hiding me behind his body.

                “Only if you want to die,” Vaann said threateningly. He held out his hand as a shadow bow appeared in one hand and an arrow burning with black fire engulfing it in the other hand. “I’m on a whole other level than you. Plus, like Anisa, you can’t touch me.”

                I sidestepped around Duo, placing my body between them. “No!” I placed my hands to Vaann’s chest, expecting to fall through. Instead, my hands glowed green as I gently pushed him. I didn’t put enough force in it to actually move him, but he backed down, his muscles relaxing slightly. “Don’t,” I said dropping my hands as I turned to Duo. “Like I said, you were in my vision. I’m not letting anything happen to you.”

                Vaann watched me as he backed up a step. “Let’s go Anisa. You have had your fun. I leave Lyllina in charge of the group now. Inform her of it, Kate.”

                Duo was clenching and unclenching his fists now too. “Trust me; there are things about me that you just don’t know. Besides, I’m not intimidated by meaningless threats.” His facial expression seemed uninterested, but his eyes said he wanted to rip Vaann’s throat out. I placed my hand on Duo’s arm to send him my energy, to calm him.

                Anisa smiled as Vaann turned toward her. “I’m glad you finally chose right, Blue Eyes.”

                I kept my back to him so he couldn’t see my face. “Have fun killing off the girl you’re in love with. I’ll be sure to tell Lina you hate her as much as she thinks.”

                I heard him stop mid step to turn, but kept facing toward Duo. “Have fun watching your friends break down. Kate…” He said my name with such sorrow and power that I had no choice but to turn around and look at him. “Keep this.” He took a necklace from his neck and threw it. I caught it easily, a bit confused. “Show Lina, she’ll figure out everything then.”

                I stared at the cross designed necklace in my hand. It was big, taking up most of my hand. It was a black metal with a silver outlining. In the middle sat a beautiful sapphire that, in the right light, sparkled with a rainbow of colors, making me jealous. The chain was odd, seeming to be a silver but with small strips of blue.

                “And you will hunt me…” Vaann’s voice called. I glanced back up, clutching the cross.

                I clenched my free hand together and winced at the pain that shot through my arm. “I guess I will.” I glanced to my hand only to find blood. I’d clenched my fist so hard, my nails dug into my skin cutting me open.

                Vaann turned his back to us, gesturing to my sister. “Come, Anisa.”

                Anisa walked to Vaann with a smile. She placed her hands together like she was praying, allowing her eyes to close. I went to longue, to attack, but Duo caught my wrist, holding me back. My sister smiled as she and Vaann turned into a sparkling blue mist and slowly dissolved.

                Everything was falling apart.

                We’d come so far.

                We couldn’t give up now…

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