Raising Kane

The Queen has ruled with an iron grip for years. But even an iron grip isn't enough. She needs more power. And there is one person that can help her. An inventor by the name of Kane. She sends out her most powerful assassins- teenage girls called Devias- to find him. All have failed, and been killed. And now it's Natalia's turn.

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37. Chapter 36- Kane Messes Everything Up... Good Job, Kane

 

Natalia’s POV

 

Walking behind the horse is pure torture. So, naturally, I do my best to laugh and joke about it.

We walked for endless hours, only being given a respite when we collapsed from exhaustion. Then we would be shaken awake, and forced to walk again.

For Kane’s sake, I try to act like I don’t care. But by the time they let us collapse for the night, still tied to the horses, my wrists are red and sore from the rope, and my feet are aching.

We’re woken up much the same way, and the torture continues. Eventually, my jokes are silenced, and we both walk without another word.

This continues on an endless cycle. Endless hours of walking in the day, followed by a rough, uncomfortable night’s sleep. I’m almost relieved when I see the familiar entrance to Kane’s workshop. Almost.

“This is it,” Kane says quietly.

The Queen dismounts, and signals to one of the Devias. They pull Kane off of the horse, dropping him unceremoniously to the ground. He manages to stand, and turns to look at the Queen.

“Well?”

“I’m not a fool, Kane. Disable your security first.”

He nods slowly, and steps into the cave. A sharp blade is pressed against my neck, and I gasp slightly. A moment later, I hear Kane call from the entrance. The Queen steps through, and we follow, Tallima and I both held at knifepoint.

For a moment I wonder if Kane had lied about his security. But none of us are killed by blades, so he must have actually disabled it.

We reach his workroom. He walks purposefully towards one of the tables. Each small machine he passes, he runs his hand over with a tender fondness. Almost like he’s… saying goodbye.

I feel a sudden chill. There’s something wrong here. Something about the purpose in his step. The way he looks at the machines like he’ll never see them again.

Kane turns back to look at us, and his eyes are full of sadness. “Welcome to my workshop.”

The Queen studies the machines around us with a hungry light in her eyes. “And the larger machines of yours?”

“They’re in a chamber in the back,” Kane replies. “Follow me.” He walks towards another of the rooms, again with that same purpose. The same sense of finality.

We follow him to the next room. He picks up a simple journal, and flips through it, his expression sad. “These are my schematics,” he explains. “How I built my creations.”

He moves on, towards another room. This one must be his forge. He walks straight to the bellows, and turns back to look at us. He meets my eyes, I see the intentions in them. My eyes widen with shock.

“Kane- no!”

Too late. He pulls the bellows with a sharp tug, and a fire lights in the forges. He looks the Queen straight in the eyes, then throws the schematics into it. Two more tugs, and they are nothing but ashes.

“You won’t ever be able to use those,” he hisses.

The Queen steps forwards, expression dark, but Kane holds up his hand. She stops, eyes dark.

“I’m not done.”

Oh no… Kane… no… I stare at him in shock. I think I can see tears glistening at the corners of his eyes, but it’s hard to tell. I can’t believe what he’s doing- I know he loves his machines. He told us himself- they’re his life.

He holds up a small square device, with a single button in the middle. “I created this in case my inventions ever fell into the wrong hands. He presses the button.

All around us, I hear sudden bursts. I look in shock to the other room, where each of his machines sits- a ruined mess. I look back to Kane. He chokes back a sob, staring in horror as if he can’t believe what he’s done.

The Queen turns back to him, expression livid. “You may have destroyed your creations, but I still have you.”

When Kane speaks, his voice is full of sadness. “No. You don’t.”

“Kane!” I yell.

“Stop him!” The Queen orders.

Nobody moves fast enough. Kane picks up one of the hammers on the table, and brings it down on his hand. I hear the bones shatter, and he drops to the ground, holding his hand as he sobs with pain.

Kane!” The Devias holding me have let go in shock, and I run forwards, dropping to my knees next to him. “Kane, why?!”

“Couldn’t… let her… have them…” his voice is ragged with pain. “Couldn’t let her have my skills… too much destruction. Too much death. Too dangerous.” His voice is ragged with pain and heartbreak.

“Your hand-” I reach out to take it, but he pulls it away.

“My creations… have led to nothing but death. And so have I. People have died trying to protect me- or trying to find me. My parents. Innocent villagers. The Devias. You nearly died.”

I go to speak, when the Queen interrupts.

“Very well. Kill them!”

I hear swords being drawn, and look back at Kane. “Kiss me.”

“What?”

“Something weird and magical happens every time we kiss. We’re going to die if we don’t find a way to fight. So kiss me, you idiot.”

He blinks in surprise, before leaning forwards. My lips mine, and suddenly I feel a rush of energy. My eyes widen with awe. “Wow.”

Kane smiles. “That… worked. Go get them.”

I turn, leaping to my feet as the Devias surround us, hemming Kane and I against the wall. I’m weaponless, but I feel strong- stronger than I’ve felt in days. I leap forwards, catching them off guard. I brought my fist against one of their skulls- hard. They went down like a ton of bricks. I didn’t have time to see if they were alright- I had to keep fighting. I took another’s legs out from under her, and ducked a blow from a third, spinning to deliver another blow. I snatch a sword from the downed Devia, and spin it in a whirl of light, locking blades with the Devia across from me. With a start, I see Iya looking back at me. There’s regret in her eyes as she swings. I block with my sword, our blades locking.

Instantly, from years of instinct, the other Devias around us back off, giving us space to duel. Mentally, I breathe a sigh of relief. One on one will be much easier, especially with my energy boost from Kane.

I hear another slither of a blade, and turn to see Tallima stumble to her feet, coming to stand beside me. She looks absolutely dead, but she smiles at me.

“Up for a fight to the death?”

“Definitely up for it,” I agree.

Iya lunges forwards, and nearby I see Mila step forwards to duel Tallima. Then I am lost to the thrill of combat.

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