The Assignment

Captain Von Delgo is a man who is lost. He is known as a turncoat, a hero and a mass-murderer. He has no beginning, and as far as he can see he has no end. Which makes him just about the most dangerous man alive. After the completion of his last job Captain is on his way out to receive his payment and rest up. His plans are delayed when a religious sect known as the Ravens pull him in with an offer. Captain faces a dilemma, he has never once failed in his assignments. But accepting this one and succeeding would change the way of the world, change everything that everyone has ever known, plunge it into chaos. But he has also never once turned down a job, and with his life quickly descending into a chaos of its own despair, he can see no reason why not to accept. After all, how hard can it be to kill an immortal?


1. Chapter 1

Present, Future


It was inside a room lying on a bed under crisp white sheets. It was called 01, presumably because it was the first. Around it's bed were machines for various things he did not know about. Some of them were large, grey blocks, others were smaller, flatter, longer, some black, some white. Some had buttons and knobs of different colours, and a couple had screens which flashed numbers and a graphs. From some of them wires came out and hung over his bed. Things clicked and whirred, and little lights flashed and blinked.

01 could feel something up his nose, and it tickled. It itched and irritated and he started to quickly inhale gulps of cool air to try and prevent the sneeze that was coming. Violently his body jerked as he sneezed, his face scrunching up in a wince as the metal tubes inside his throat grated against his skin.

Just one more day of this and he would be free. No more tubes down his throat, no more pain, no more fluids being injected into him by a fat nurse, no more being fed through clear tubes in his stomach, no more doctor's taking samples of his blood. And, at last, no more being rushed in to emergency operating rooms and being cut in to before the anaesthetic started to drift him off to the world of sleep.

He could not remember how long he had been in the hospital for. The days seemed to last for hours, but the hours seemed to last for days. 01 spent most of his time between not doing anything and the countless operations drugged up to his eyeballs on whatever they gave him through the needle in his left arm. Behind their surgical masks he could feel their looks of pity for him.

But no more! Tomorrow he would be a free man, free to do what he liked, free to eat what he liked. Free.

While he was dreaming of this a doctor and nurse had entered the room and proceeded to wheel him out into the long, white, antiseptic smelling hallway. As they pushed him he tried to image what it was like outside the walls of the hospital. Green grass? Wide open, blue sky? Fresh air? He could no imagine it, he gave up in defeat. It was too much for him, he would find out soon enough.

01’s thoughts drifted over to a new question that had formed in his mind: Where were they taking him? He did not recognise this part of the hospital. The walls had turned from bright white to dull grey. The floor did not feel like the smooth floor he was used to. There were no doors leading out of the hallway that he could see. It just kept going on, and on, and on. In his drugged state he could faintly make out the sound of the doctor and nurse talking away in a quiet whisper. He tried to focus on what they were saying and understand them, but he could not and let his head fall back onto his pillow. Slowly he drifted off in to a sleep that seemed to last for only a second.

'File. Nails. Wrench. Hammer. Rubber bands. Clear tubing.' The voice floated into 01’s dream. He was walking in a field of long, green grass. Soft to touch and his hands trailed by his sides, brushing over it. The air was heavy with the scent of flowers he could not name, and the sky above was bright blue. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

He opened his eyes and the sky above suddenly turned dark grey, the grass melted away and the smell of flowers turned into the strong, choking smell of antiseptic.


He started to cough, the pain in his throat intensified with each lung full of sterile air he brought in. A voice above anxiously called out an order. More than one voice now was ringing above him, all toned with worry. He blinked and the fuzzy images above him started to take shape. Blurred though they still were he could tell they were the doctors and nurses. What were they doing? Where was he?

Panic filled him and he started to struggle, his arms pulling against the brown leather straps and held him down. He kicked his feet to no avail. A pain in his left arm told him that someone was injecting him again with something. He had long ago stopped worrying about what they were giving him. His coughing stopped and his breathing regulated itself. A stillness entered his mind and once again the dream state carried him away.


The morning sun rose over the clear, blue water lake as creatures from all walks of life proceeded to wake up. Among them was a No One. A name given to inhabitants of the forests of Gamdagleeare Luff that were scratched off the lift of creatures that should exist. The sky turned orange as the final rays of the red sun rose over the edge of the lake. While the lake appeared close, it was actually an hour or so walk from the No One that was rising from the deep, blue grass it had been sleeping on and rubbed his eyes.

'The sun is getting brighter each morning, Nor-Viscoe. We must be nearing the water edge,' the No One commented. He was a young male, eighteen years of age, but unrecognisable. He stood on two legs like a man, walked like a man, spoke like a man, even had two arms like a man, but it was not a man. The resemblance stopped there. Most creatures if they saw him turned and looked away.

Turning, the No One picked up a stick and poked hard at something that was lying on the ground at his feet.

'Nor-Visoce!' he called loudly. The body on the ground moved jerkily, and then rolled over. 'We should be going, Nor-Viscoe! The sun has risen anda we are beyond the tree line. We are in, what you told me last night before going to sleep, a danger zone outside of the shelter of our forest.'

The forest he spoke of loomed beside them. A gigantic array of trees that appeared to be growing upside down. Their branches were small and thin at the bottom, and grew out larger and thicker as they moved up. The forest was black.

'You told me to wake you when the sun rose over the lake.'

Grunting, the figure at his feet moved again and then slowly sat up. 'All right, all right, I'm awake,' he said. 'And my name's not Nor-Viscoe, Holin,' he said grumpily.

'How do you know?' Holin asked, a frown crossing over his features. 'You said you didn't know your name.'

'That's not the point. Until I do find it, I'm sticking with the one I picked. You will call me Captain Von Delgo.'

'You'll always be Nor-Viscoe to me, though,' Holin told him before turning to look at the field in front of them. 'I think we slept in a field,' he told the Captain.

'A field?' the Captain rubbed his eyes and grazed around as the lush blue grass.

'Who do you think it belongs to?' Holin asked. 'Look at the grass! I have never seen grass this long or this fresh before.'

'I don't know and I don't care,' the Captain told him. 'The sooner we get out of it the better.'

A couple of minutes later they had both packed up their sleeping rugs and were slowly making their way through the grass, being careful to stay down low so as not to be seen.

As they neared a house, Holin rose to his feet to have a better look around.

'Get down!' the Captain hissed angrily, grabbing him by the waist and pulling him down. 'What do you tink you were doing standing up this close to the house?' he demanded. 'We don't know who or what lives there, you could have been seen!'

'I-I wanted to have a look.' Honest fear was in Holin's eyes as he stared at the man he called his saviour. He was simply curious about the house, all he had wanted to do was look at it.

'Then you will look at it from this view.'

'I'm sorry,' Holin said again, looking away.'

'Don't do it again,' the Captain ordered, shaking his head in annoyance before crawling on his hands and knees to a brick wall that was currently in the making. Easing himself up he peered over the top.

'What do you see, Nor-Viscoe?' Holin whispered from behind him.

'Two workers, but I can't tell who they are from this distance.'

'What are they doing?'

'At the moment, having breakfast.'

'What are they eating?'

'How do I know?' the Captain hissed, dropping down to the ground and sitting with his back against the wall.

'What do we do?'

The Captain shrugged and rubbed his chin in thought. It was bristly, he needed a shave. And quite possibly a shower as well. He couldn't remember the last time he had been clean, proper clean. Not just diving into the first lake or dam they came across and hoping the water would wash away the dirt. If anything the water simply added to it. What he wanted was a nice hot bath, with soap. He dropped down and proceeded to crawl along the wall.

'First off, we get down low and follow this wall. My compass is dead, and they only do that when we're near the edge and it can't get proper bearings.'

'Do you think the workers will notice us?' asked Holin as he crawled after the Captain.

'Not if you don't go jumping up trying to get a look,' he replied steely.

'I said I was sorry,' replied Holin quietly, his voice almost breaking. He couldn't stand to think that he had disappointed his saviour after all the man had done for him.

'The past is not changeable. If you muff something up then you will never get the chance to correct it, you can only wait for something in the future to happen for you to make up for the past.'

Holin nodded, and together they both crawled along quietly. After a couple of minutes silence, he asked, 'Have you ever muffed something up?'

'Maybe,' was the short reply, the Captain didn't want to think about it. 'Now shush, we're getting close to the farm.'

'What happens if the workers see us?'

'I don't think it will be fun.'

'Who for?'

'You id you don't shut up!'

Silence reigned for a little longer than five minutes. Finally worried when Holin didn't mention something, which was not in his nature not to do, the Captain stopped and looked behind him. Holin was still there, safe it seemed, but he was staring behind him.

'Why so quiet?'

'Huh?' Holin twisted his head to stare at the Captain. 'Nothing,' he said, shaking his head.

'You sound slightly worried.'

'Oh, right.' Holin peered back over his shoulder again.'

'What?' pressed the Captain.

'Are the workers supposed to have disappeared?' he asked at last.

'What?' cried the Captain, horrified, his heart skipping its already irregular beat as he turned his head in the direction the workers had been sitting.

'What did they disappear?' he asked. 'Did you see them get up? How did they disappear?'

'They just sort of... faded.' As Holin said this, his guide rose quickly to his feet and pulled Holin to his.

'Do you see that line of fence just over there?' he asked, pointing to the distance where a white picket fence sat. He tried to keep the worry from his voice.

'Yes,' replied Holin, following his finger.

'You will run to that fence as fast as you can,' the guide ordered. 'When you get over it, you should be able to see the world's edge if the compass is anything to go by. You will run to it and keep running, you hear? If you see a place in full sunlight with no shadows, hide there.'


'Don't ask questions, just run!' pushing the No One towards the fence, the Captain pulled out two, gleaming silver guns from the recesses of his clothes. After making sure that Holin was on his way, he turned in a quick circle, his eyes sweeping over everything that was lying in front of him. Even taking in the things that weren't.

If he was up against what he thought he was up against, then he would be lucky to survive. The Shadows were the supreme creatures on Gamdagleeare Luff. That’s what the High Lord proclaimed them as, and he was correct. There were two kinds of Shadows, the Mortal Shadows and the Immortal Shadows.

The way the Mortal Shadows was worked was this: Say you have a wooden chair and you decide you don’t want it anymore, rather than give it to someone else you burn it. The Shadow, the shadow of the chair, is connected to it. The chair is the Shadows life; if you destroy it then the Shadow dies with it. The Shadow cannot survive if its life piece is destroy. All you have to do to kill them is find what they are a shadow of and destroy it, which may take years depending upon what it is. If it is not easy to destroy, like wood, you run the risk of merely separating the shadow into thousands of different pieces which can all change and cause as much damage as the first.

The Immortal ones are slightly different. They were able to disconnect themselves from their objects whenever they were about to die and switch to something else. In a way they acted like parasites. It was a survivor. After millions of years it had evolved so much that it no longer needed to connect to some thing to survive. That made killing them almost impossible. In theory you could kill them, but it took too much time.

All of a sudden a chill descended his back and he froze. A split second later he turned just as a black shadow flittered across the ground in front of him and took the shape of a fist. Before the Captain could step aside, the fist connected with his shadow and sent him staggering. Another punch landed, this time with such force that he flew back and crashed into a pile of bricks behind him.

He dropped to his knees, one of his empty hands cradling his stomach as he hurriedly searched for his guns. He had dropped them in the flight. In the corner of his eyes he saw another Shadow take the form of a man and start to head after Holin.

Lunging, the Captain dived for a silver gleam he saw in the grass. As he moved he was caught midway in the chest by a book. Gasping, he dropped to the ground as the kick pulled him to a stop. He could feel that two of his ribs were broken. He gasped again, trying to get more air in to his lungs.

The Shadow that attacked him loomed over him. It had also taken the form of a man to fight, but there was nothing to remember it by, it was just a black form. Before the Captain could move, it reached down and grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up. Holding him at arms length it punched Nor-Viscoe again, knocking what little breath he had been able to suck in. It punched again, breaking another rib.

It's hands round the Captain's throat was blocking off his air and he was beginning to feel like headed. If he didn't do anything soon then he would be done for. Groaning loudly, he swung up an arm and hooked it around the Shadow that was holding him. The creatures didn't really have a form, his hand should have gone straight through the shadow holding him, but it was his own shadow that he was using to fight. Using his own shadow, the Captain forced the Shadow's arm down. Then jerking down while using his arm to pull up, the Shadow's arm broke.

Screaming, the Shadow cried out in a mimic of pain as it's fingers unclasped the Captain by the throat and the man dropped to the ground. Landing hard on his backside the Captain kicked out, his foot's shadow making contact with the Shadow's knee which forced it to crumble to the floor. Before he could kick out again, the Shadow disappeared.

Still groaning from the pain in his chest, the Captain reached out behind him to find something to hit the Shadow with when it returned. His hands felt a brick and he clasped it. As soon as the chill returned, the Captain threw the brick at an empty space just as it became occupied. The Brick's shadow hit the Shadow on the nose and it squealed again, it's arms reaching up to feel it's broken nose. There had been a shatter of bone, and the Captain allowed himself a quick moment to smile. He'd found.

While the Shadow was distracted by it's broken nose, the Captain rose quickly to his feet and scooped up one of his guns. Taking careful aim, because he had to get it just right, he pulled the trigger. A deafening crack echoed through the empty farm and there was a faint thud as the bullet embedded itself in the Shadow's head. Already a dark stain was spreading out over the blue grass. Then, the Shadow seemed to fall apart and disappear. All that was left when it was gone was a broken piece of bone with a bullet poking out.

Rubbing some of his own blood off his face, the Captain turned and saw the other Shadow moving fast across the ground in the distance. It had already passed the fence. Taking a deep breath, he chased after them.

Panting for air that just wasn't making its way into his lungs, the Captain jumped over the fence and landed in a heap on the ground. Unsteadily he rose to his feet and felt like he was about to be sick. The kicks to his chest must have done more damage than he though. Turning round in a circle he tried to clear his vision, he was light headed. Two figures were running away in a north-western direction to his left. Or was it his right? And how did he even know the direction? His compass didn't work. Trying not to think about the pain, the Captain ran after them.

Holin was giving the second Shadow a run for it's money. Ducking under a bush, he dodged a tree and then pulled himself to a sudden stand still before he fell off the edge of the world. He had reached the cliff. Looking down he expected to see ground, having never seen it before, but there was nothing but space. He gazed mesmerised as stars and distant planets glimmered far below him. The swirling of planets, moons, and suns filled his vision and he started to become sea sick. He pulled away and turned to face a tall, black, one dimension creature opening it's jaw to reveal massive, sharp pointed teeth. He screamed just as the sound of a gun shot shattered the air. The blank face peering down at Holin changed suddenly to nothing, and then they were both tumbling off the edge of the world.

'I don't suppose you could try climbing up the side of the cliff instead of just holding onto my arm?' the Captain's voice carried down to Holin's ears.

'What?' asked Holin loudly, 'I missed what you said.'

'Never mind,' the Captain answered. Straining, with a grunt of effort, he tensed his already sore muscles and lifted Holin up onto solid ground.

For a few moments they both lay there, and then Holin broke the silence. 'Thank you, Nor-Viscoe,' he said quietly. He was aware that a lot of what had happened was his fault, he had probably been the one to alert the Shadows to their whereabouts by his constant talking. Tears came to his eyes, but he forced them down because he knew his guide would object to them being spilled.

'Don't bother thanking me, Holin, it's what I'm being paid to do,' the Captain panted. With a heave he rose to his feet and swayed for a moment before steady. 'But if you want to show your thanks, call me the Captain. I won't tell you again.'

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