Skyward: Gabriel's Return

After Hailee and Zander find themselves in Gabriel's grasp. They know he is much stronger than they imagined. Forgetting themselves, who they are and what they ever knew, how will Trevor and the others get them back? And how can they fight Gabriel? Find out in the second book of Skyward. Copyright © 2013 Hailee Reynolds.


21. Ruthless Killer

The training that Tyler had forced on Hailee was brutal, sadistic, and cruel. He was breaking her down day by day and piecing her back together the way he wanted to. He would make thousands of her fears come to life and make her face them day after day until she would overcome them. At first she hated it, screamed and pleaded for Tyler to let her go that she couldn't do it. If she failed she was locked in the pitch black room for the night, or what Hailee assumed was night. Until, Hailee was ready to train again.

She never really could tell what time of the day it was after not going outside for so long. She would weep a lot in the beginning, but his training was working. Hailee wouldn't cry anymore, but instead plot on how to overcome it. It was about a month until she was allowed outside her training ground and into her own assigned room with other darkness members. She still was not allowed to leave yet though, as her training was not done yet.

Tyler showed her all the ways to kill mercilessly. Showing her that even the most innocent of things can kill you. Hailee went through that part of training with ease as she had already been broken.

Then there was the training on how to lead. He showed her how to intimidate others into submission. Giving them no once of feelings towards them. This was what she was meant to be, Tyler thought, so its best that she learns quickly about the role that she must fill. He taught her how to handle pain and how to keep fighting with even the most critical injuries. He lied to her a little in saying that it would only be a week, it had to have been well over two months before he decided that she was ready. Hailee would thank him later, Tyler thought. 

"How do you feel?" Tyler asked Hailee.

"Better then ever," She replied to him. Her hair was tangled and dull from the lack of sun on it. Tyler almost forgot what her true eyes looked like, as they were hardly ever not black. Her nails that used to be longer and filed like claws, were now bitten down from her training.

"Let me be the judge of that, at attention," He called off. She knew the drill by heart as it was the first lesson she learned. She straightened herself and planted her feet firm.

"Good," He said in response, she knew they were just words though. In an instant he tried swinging a fist at her and she countered his move just as he had taught her. Hailee grabbed his arm and twisted it back behind him and moved it a little farther then she was supposed to which only made Tyler smile. 

"You have learned quickly then most, I am finished with your training now and I welcome you to lead by my side as well as the fire clan's," Tyler told her.

"I do I got back to something I abandoned?" She asked him.

"I shouldn't be too hard, Gabriel has his feelings for you so he will welcome you back to leading, if not you always have a place here in your true clan," Tyler answered her. 

"Won't they be afraid of me?" She asked. Tyler thought for a moment. He had increased her power and will by ten fold and Tyler knew that the member of this clan that had seen Hailee's progress wouldn't fear her as much as the fire clan would. That was the point though.

"Yes the fire clan will fear you when they see you, but that's what you wanted, right?" Tyler asked.

"Of course that's what I want," Hailee told him with a slight growl in her throat. 

"Well, then go back to them. All I ask is that you come back here at night, I still think you need further training and you will pose as a big threat around the fire clan," He told her. In truth, he just wanted her back to the clan. He had trained her for months now and had grown a liking for her and wasn't about to let her leave.

"What if they do reject her, Brother Tyler?" A man asked walking into the training room.

"Well, they might, but then she can always come back to her rightful place with us," Tyler smiled as he sent Hailee on her way to the fire clan.




As Hailee walked through the woods she noticed how she now had more of an aura around her that radiated power. She smiled, now that she knew the full potential of her powers. As she approached the she knew better then to walk straight through the doors, alarming everyone. Unfolding, her black wings she flew up to the top of the temple and came in through an open window. She seemed to burst in on Gabriel though as she saw him gasp and fall backwards off his bed.

"Hailee? What the hell! Is that really you?" Gabriel asked. His frightened expression turned to an agry one as he confirmed that it was Hailee.

"Jesus Hailee, where have you been? I looked everywhere for you!," Gabriel exclaimed.

"I was with Tyler, after I completely failed at training the fire members, Tyler agreed to train me. I thought that's what you wanted?" Hailee asked confused, she gave him an upset look. Gabriel sighed,

"You need to tell people, you need to tell me. I was worried sick about you," He said a bit softer.

"I thought you would be happy that I took the time to become a better leader," Hailee frowned, almost letting her gaurd down she remembered that her training would be for nothing. "Maybe I should just go back to Tyler's clan," She shook her head. 

"No, no Hailee that won't make this better please stay with me. I'm happy you got training to be a better leader but why not just come to me instead some psycho murderer that probably did god knows what to you," Gabriel said, moving from the bed and towards Hailee. 

"He is not a psychotic, Gabriel," Hailee told him, he was close to her now. 

"Okay, whatever just come here I haven't seen you in forever," He wrapped his arms around her and let her head rest on his shoulder. Hailee flinched at this. It was one of the first human encounters she had that wasn't someone trying to kill her in a long time. 

"Tyler said I can't stay here at night," Hailee said stiffly. 

"What do you mean?" Gabriel asked her.

"Brother Tyler has ordered that I come back to the base at night until I am fully done with my training," Hailee relayed.

"Fine, just make sure that you come to see me in the mornings so i can make sure you got here safe, okay?" Gabriel asked Hailee. Shen nodded in response. 

"Why does he think you're not ready after training for a whole month?" Gabriel questioned her, which caught Hailee off guard.

"It was only a week Gabriel," Hailee corrected him. 

"Is that what he told you? You were gone almost more then a month," Gabriel told her. Anger seemed to fill her veins and her heartbeat was in her ears. She felt instantly lied to and betrayed. She growled as the sun started to set, the bastard only let her leave for an hour before she had to come back. 

"I'm sorry Gabriel but I have to go, the night is coming," She said, not waiting for him to finish. Hailee went out the way she came, running off the sloped roof and letting her wings snap open. It only took her a few minutes to get back to her home, slamming the door to the base, seething with anger. Voices hissed in the shadows which only made her more pissed off.

"Oh, shut up," She hissed back. They retreated. Tyler seemed to walk out of a doorway like he knew she was there, which he did. 

"Welcome back sister," He said with a smile.

"You're a lair," Hailee spat. Now it was Tyler's turn to look confused.

"What are you talking about?" He asked her. Eyes seemed to stare at them from random points in the room. 

"A week, you said a week. It was a month!" She yelled at him, her eyes flipping to black slates. Tyler rolled his eyes.

"I lied, slightly, but you were the one who wanted to be a leader. I told you my ways were harsh," He said flatly. This only made her more enraged.

"Then you tell me next time," She fumed. Getting up in his face, all eyes seemed to be on them. 

"I can't promise it," He said. Growling, Hailee swung at him with full force. He was too quick though as he grabbed her fist out of the air and twisted her arm. It popped out of place and Hailee shrieked. 

"I made you into a fearsome leader, be grateful I took the time," Tyler hissed,"if you attack me again I will break your arm you hear me?" She nodded and her temper start to fade. Her hisses and sounds of protest followed.

"Are you calm?" Tyler questioned her. 

"Y-yes." She said back to him. He nodded and popped her arm back into pace. He hoisted her up and had her move her shoulder a little, making sure it wasn't broken. He picked up her still firm body and carried her over to the couch where he set her down gently and lit a fire. She was still in pain from her shoulder. 

"You all can come out now." Tyler called out to the darkness. Which proved to not be darkness at all as members came out from the shadows and continued with their lives. Sound filled the room as talking ensued.

"Why do you make a fool out of me?" Hailee questioned Tyler. She knew he was stronger then her, he didn't have to almost break her arm to show her that. He sat down next to her and slid a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. A lighter came out of the other pocket and he lit one.

"You need to be shown discipline. If you get to rebel and your the newest member, then why can't everyone else?" Tyler said flatly, he took a long drag from his cigarette.  

"So you used me as a reminder not to step out of line?" Hailee's anger flared up again but she calmed herself. She didn't need Tyler to try to break her arm again. He nodded a her.

"Just as I used the boy as a reminder when you got here." Tyler told her. "To keep order you need to show them that stepping out of line is a very bad choice." 

"Why do you have such strict rule over them when no other leader seems to enforce such rules?" Hailee asked.

"Because it works." 

"But what do you mean?" Hailee rolled her eyes. She hated how blunt he could be. 

"If you have no control over your people who is to say they won't turn their back on you the moment you need them most?" Tyler put out his cigarette. "I am strict I won't deny that. But I have people who are willing to risk their lives for everyone here. It works because everyone has a purpose. And nothing is more frightening then a well trained, disciplined clan." Tyler told her.

She finally understood why everyone feared the darkness now. They were all trained killing machines. None of them were confused about their powers or how to use them because Tyler and his higher ups showed them personally. He didn't act as though he was better then everyone else, but rather a mentor. A general, whose sole purpose was to train and teach. 

Hailee dismissed herself to bed and he let her go. Her shoulder still ached with pain. She knew she had more freedom and power then most in the clan but Tyler wouldn't let her exploit it. She put that thought behind her though as she retired to her familiar room that she had been staying in for over a month now. It was a standard room with a king sized bed that everyone had. There was a oak wood desk that was used for writing or coming up with new training plans. There was also a small couch, hers was black leather which she liked. A small fridge sat in the room as well if you needed to store any personal food. Lastly, there was a small closet for your clothes and belongings. Hailee didn't have much so she never complained about the space. 

She stripped down to her underwear and bra and slid under the cool covers. It was always cool in here, she noted absently. The only light that was on was the little lamp by her bedside next to an alarm clock. The angle of the light seemed to make shadows she would otherwise be a little put off by. Had she not endured terrifying shadows of her own in her training she might be scared now. 

She put out the light and was lulled to sleep by the chatter of people walking outside her room or the sound of children's footsteps running around the halls.

Tomorrow, she would begin training the fire clan again.


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