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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7. Chapter Six: Countdown

Vaann’s POV:

 

I walked ahead, wanting the others to follow me.

            Of course, they did.

            Kate was walking beside me with Tamber on my other side. Rissa was walking next to Kate, keeping close. Kate and Rissa had gotten really close lately and were almost always together. Like they were attached at the hip. It was good that Kate was finally starting to realize that here was where she belonged. Here with Riley, Rissa, Lina and I. We were one big team. What would happen after all this was done? Where would everyone go? Would we all go our separate ways? I would be sad if we did, but it would be for the best. Kate did say we would all be together for a while. We would be sure to meet again someday. I hoped anyway. These people were all part of me now.

            Even Kate, as much as it killed me to say it.

            “Should we go find the others? They should be safe.” I said turning to look at Kate and Rissa.

            “I don’t know. It’s up to you. I kind of wanted to explore,” Kate said looking around her.

            “I doubt we will find Lina for a while,” I said looking down at her.

            Kate frowned a bit. “I really hope I didn’t upset her,” she looked down with a sad expression. “She hates me enough as it is.”

            “She doesn’t hate you. That’s just how she is.”

            “You acted like you. Now you don’t….sometimes…” Kate said looking up at me cautiously.

            “I never hated you,” I said shaking my head.

            She scoffed wrapping her arms around herself. “Right.”

            “I just don’t like people who argue back for so long. I’m perfectly fine with you now,” I said turning and walking toward a tree. I sat down, leaning my back against it.

            Kate smiled and sat beside me. “Good. I don’t like being disliked. That’s probably why I argue.”

            “Having fun exploring?” I said raising an eyebrow.

            She rolled her eyes, “Totally.”

            “Better like sarcasm. I use it a lot.”

            “I can tolerate it.”

            “Good.”

            She looked around herself for a second, her expression half sadness half disgust. “Was the world like this before…? I wouldn’t have liked it…”

            “No, it was a lot less demonic. The trees, leaves and grass were green. And the water and sky were blue. People would walk these roads and drive in cars,” I said trying my hardest not to let the memory of the world slip away.

            “That sounds pretty. Blue sounds like a nice color.” She said smiling at me.

            “It was, and it will be again one day.”

            She laughed for a second and then frowned. “Uh, what does blue look like?”

            “Well, it’s hard to explain. If I see something blue, I’ll show you. One day you can see it when you look at the rivers or lakes.” I said looking over to her.

            “Okay,” she said with a smile. “What does green look like?”

            “Well… um, my quiver was green… You will see it all one day, Kate. I’m going to make it that way no matter what. I promise.”

            “Why do you want to be a hero so badly?” She suddenly asked, leaning her head back against the tree.

            “I don’t. I just hate seeing all this,” I said gesturing around us. “So, I’m going to change it.”

            “I disagree,” she said sitting forward, leaning toward me slightly on her hands. “You’re always saying you are going to change it and you are going to fix it. You never say us together.”

            “Because I’m going to do it with or without you all.” I said in a hard tone, maybe a little harder than necessary.

            “I’d rather we have all of us. We make a good team.” She said looking away.

            “Hey, Kate?” I said drawing her attention back to me.

            “Hmm?”

            “You ready to fight? ‘Cause I’m out of weapon. Tamber, put your guard up. I heard something.” I said looking around thoughtfully, tilting my head a bit to listen.

            Kate sighed in exasperation, “It’s your fault for getting rid of them.”

            “My guard is always up,” Tamber said looking at me.

            “I did it for your well-being, so stop complaining,” I said to Kate. Then I looked at Tamber. “Good, Kate’s going to need it.”

            “What was that?” I saw Kate reach up to grab my hair and I prepared for the pain, but it never came. I looked down at her and she was glowering at her hands.

            “Well, I can’t help you much,” I said still looking down at her.

            “I can take care of myself…” she muttered.

            “I hope you can… Ten…. Nine…. Eight…”

            “Stop it, you’re scaring me!”

            “Seven… Six…. Five… Four…. Three…. Two….One…”

            “N-nothing happened…” Kate said looking around with wide eyes.

            “I was off by a bit...” I said staring around.

            “You might want to work on your countdowns more.” Tamber said with a mocking smile.

            “Yeah, maybe.” I sighed.

            Kate stood up glaring at me with her hands on her hips. “You scared me, don’t do that!”

            “I’d rather you be ready than taken by surprise!”

            “Like I said, I can handle myself…maybe…” she crossed her arms, pouting a bit.

            “There are creatures in this ruined world that can eat you alive.” I said standing, hovering over her. “It’s more than just some game, Blondie.”

            “Like me,” Tamber cut in.

            I laughed. “You’re strong enough, I will give you that, but you won’t eat us. I was being literal. A corrupt creature tried to eat me once. Not fun. And Lily, she won’t be easy to kill if she comes back.” I heard a rustle from the tree above us and looked up to see Lyllina. “Nice of you to join us.”

            “Oh, hello to you too.” Lyllina said with a small smirk.

            I saw Kate grab at her head out of the corner of my eye and sighed. “You can relax now, Kate.” All of a sudden she dropped to her knees, hissing a bit. Lina blinked for a second before she sat down. “Kate, are you alright?” I said placing a hand on her back. She just whimpered, clenching her hands into fists through her hair. I saw a few strands already falling to the ground. She would be bald by the end of this. I knelt down in front of her, trying to gently pry her hands out of her hair, taking some strands with me. She grasped my hands, crushing them in her grip. I hissed internally but kept quiet. Damn, she was stronger than she looked!
            “N…No!” She screamed out.

            “Don’t tell me you’re seeing it again,” I whispered trying to reach her. She probably couldn’t hear me, but there was still a chance. She started to tumble backward onto the ground, but I pulled her back up. “Oh, shit…” Her screaming had stopped, but tears were streaming down her face, like someone was hurting her.

            “Is she alive?” Tamber asked stepping closer.

            I checked her pulse quickly. It was fast, speeding up with the moment she was seeing. “She’s alive.” I pulled her up closer to me so she was half leaning against me so she could sit up. “Kate?” I called to her gently. “Did you see it again? She’s somewhat of a fortune teller, I guess. Not always accurate. I hope.” I informed Tamber. Kate’s eyes opened staring up at me in fright. Well, damn. I wasn’t that scary! She was shaking her head, crying still.

            “Do you want to tell me?” I asked her in an attempt to soothe her.

            “I can’t take much more of this,” Lyllina said from behind me. I knew how she felt.

            “Stay out of her head from now on, Lina.” I said with a sigh.

            Kate sniffled, her eyes flickering around to everyone before they finally rested on me. “I know why… you know…”

            “What?” I asked. She ran her hand across her throat in an obvious gesture to inform me of her death.

            “So, she can see what she wants?” Tamber asked curiously.

            “No just random things, Tamber. Was it the same one?” I asked, my eyes never leaving Kate’s.

            “I know why you do it…” she said with a shaky laugh.

            “Why who does what now??” I asked.

            “Oh, for the love of…. Remember the vision? I know why you do…that.” Kate said growling in frustration.          

            “You need to tell me. Whether they know or not is up to you.”

            “I’d rather they not know. At least for now.”

            I stood up heading for the forest. “Come on.” I heard her behind me, sniffling away. I stopped and turned around causing her to almost crash into me. “I know you can hear me, Tamber. Whatever you hear, don’t tell anyone. I’m trusting you here...” I paused a second before looking down at Kate. “Why?”

            Suddenly, she exploded, like a little balloon filled with tears. “I remember everything! I’m a spy for the Mother, or I was supposed to be. Mother Nature claimed me as her daughter. And her real one, not just how everyone else is her children too. I mean, like, blood related. And she erased my memories because I was disloyal to her and she didn’t want me to be against her! That’s why you kill me! Because I am a part of her.” She smiled up at me through her tears. “And by the way, your eyes are blue.”

            “You noticed,” I smiled at her. “I’m still not going to do it.”

            “Why? You have all the right too. It will make her mad.”

            “Because, you’re with us now, not her. And it wouldn’t get her mad. If she cared about you, you wouldn’t be here now and she tried to kill you too, you know! She knows where we all are and who we are. And if she cared, she wouldn’t have let them attack you. Make sense? There’s no reason for me to kill you. I said I wouldn’t and I won’t, but since you remember, you will be hunted now too.”

            “Cause I’m a pawn!” She shouted. “Wh-what if I explode like Dark?! What will you do then, when I try to kill our friends?!” She sobbed again, her lip quivering a tiny bit. “I don’t want to hurt anyone! I-I don’t want to be a monster!”

            “I’ll calm you down like you calmed Dark. Without killing you. I will keep you with me.” I said grabbing her shoulders gently.

            “A-And if you can’t calm me down?”

            “Then I guess I will die trying. I promised I wouldn’t kill you and I don’t intend to break that promise.” I said leaning forward, looking into her eyes. She had to listen to me. “I will find a way to do this without you dying.”

            She shook her head, making her hair whip out around her. “If I try to kill you, you have to kill me. I don’t care about the damn promise. I don’t want be someone I’m not. And I don’t want to hurt you!”

            “You’re not, so quit thinking you are.”

            She looked down. “But I will be…”

            “If you were, don’t you think she would have made you kill us before you got the mentality to fight back? You’re not thinking, dammit!” I said throwing my hands up in exasperation. “Dark couldn’t fight back; he was under her full control. Then he had no memories and gave himself up out of depression.”

            “I am thinking! That’s why I am saying all of this!” She chirped out.

            “But you have the will power to fight her control.” I said ranting on.

            “What makes you think I can fight her off when I can’t fight anyone else off? When I can’t fight you off?”

            I ignored her comment, my head starting to throb irritably. “If you want your worst fears to happen, go ahead and give in. Become what you think you are. Because you have free will, Kate. You aren’t a walking puppet like the other shadows. They can’t think and act, all their actions are present. They act according to their orders. You act how you want to.”

            She let out a small laugh, “They don’t get moody either.”

           “Exactly,” I said letting out a sigh. “If she could use you, she would have. Before you had no will to stop her. Any questions?”

            “In other words…. We are back to me being useless.” Kate said glaring down at her feet.

            “Yup,” I said with a small roll of my eyes.

            “Called it from the beginning.” She muttered.

            “Well, let’s see. Life sucks. You have no family, sufficient food or water. You have a super power. And just got your memory back. Man, you’re just on a losing streak.” I started walking toward where Tamber and Lina were waiting with a smile. “Man, I love being right.”

            “Hey, you’re no walk in the park either, buddy!” Kate said jogging to catch up with me.

           “I have issues too,” I said laughing. “And my sarcasm helps me hide that. Now, come on, Mommy’s little girl. Let’s go to the others.”

            “Well, no one is perfect, so…”she said nudging me.

            “I don’t aim to be perfect, I aim to satisfy myself.” I said with a shrug. “That’s all.”

            “Good, cause you’d be bad at being perfect.” She said with a small giggle.

            Tamber stood as we came back into the clearing. I nodded to her. “Psh, I would be awesome and you know it! Tamber, you have a goal right?”

            “What do you mean?” She asked.

            “You’re always saying you’re going to find someone. We have nowhere in particular to go, so if you know where you are going, we shall help you.”

            “What ever happened to our lunch date?” Kate said with a laugh. “I’m starving.”

            “I wish it was that easy, but he wouldn’t show himself unless he had to…” She said raising her hand to cover her gray eye. “He blames himself for everything.”

            “Who is ‘he’?” I asked Tamber. I turned to Kate raising an eyebrow. “And I never said it was a date! Plus, I got the answers I needed without buying you food.” I said with one of my you-know-it-smiles.

            Tamber snickered, listening to our conversation. “Solomon, my brother.”

“Tell me what you know. He might be the enemy if he blamed himself. If he was alone and blamed himself, he was most likely targeted.” I said looking back to Tamber.

“He isn’t the enemy,” she said sternly with a slight growl. “He was gone right before any of this started, nothing was his fault, in reality, it could be blamed on me.”

            “I never said he was. She feeds off negativity. If he was blaming himself, most likely, he was harboring more negative than positive, making him a better target than the group. Meaning, if he is with her, then he will find us in due time.” I said starting to pace a bit.

            “Find us… I don’t think finding us is an issue for him. He knows where we are, I’m sure of it. I’m looking for him, he isn’t looking for me.” Tamber said.

            “In this world, with zero leads, you have little chances of finding someone who doesn’t want to be found. Same chances as getting mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear both in one in a world without bears.” I said narrowing my eyes for a split second in thought.

            “It doesn’t matter how little the chance! I’m going to find him someday! He blames himself for what I am today, the wolf I can turn into, my eye, my behavior, my sorrow and my families death. Everything! I have to show him he is wrong. And I plan to!”

            “Good answer. We have Lyllina, that’s about a 60% chance that she can detect him. That’s how we found Kate.”

            “Huh? I heard my name.” Kate said sharing a quick glance with Lyllina before they both looked at me. They were both obviously lost in their own worlds.

            “Nothing, Kate.” I said rolling my eyes.

            “Well, fine then,” she said lying down against a tree.

            “We can use that to find him, or I could almost kill you and see what happens.” I suggested. “But you already accomplished that once, so I doubt it would work…”

            “I wouldn’t want you to seem as a threat. If he gets behind someone, it’s as simple as that, he can kill them then. I just wonder how he is right now…. If he’s watching.”

            “Well, when Lina is ready, she can try her mind power things. But at least you aren’t hostile towards me anymore.” I said remembering how she tried to rip my throat out when we first met.

            “The only reason I’m not hostile to you anymore is beca-“ she stopped for a second looking puzzled. “Actually, I have no idea why…”

            I looked around me, toward where a city sat in ruins, awaiting its last breath. “I wonder if there’s any food in that town back there. And duh, because I’m not a threat anymore.”

            “Food?” Kate said, standing up as well.

            “Yeah, I’m working on that. There being no wild animals that aren’t polluted, it’s kind of hard to find food.”

            “You were never a threat, I see no threats. I was probably pissed that you saved that dude.” Tamber said with a smirk. “What have you guys been eating then?”

            “Whatever we could find that wasn’t bad. And we are running out of that.” I said with a sigh.

            Kate walked over behind us, grabbing onto the bottom of my shirt again. I looked up to tell Lyllina to tag along and come with us, but she was gone. I wasn’t all that worried, she could take care of herself and she could get her own supply of food. We would see her again soon. I pulled Kate along, hoping to find some kind of food as my stomach growled loudly. But seeing as where we were, there would most likely be no luck…

 

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