Up There so High

What do you get when you have a space fanatic, a runaway princess and a bunch of miscreants? Well, you get the three E's; Explosions, Expletives and Enemies.
You may not laugh along with this story but you may sing (because the main space man is very much fond of that).

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12. The Failure

 

~The Failure~

~Mallory~

 

Mallory did not think that her life would be like this when she agreed to shapeshift into Skylar Kingsley. But the bag full of crystal bars had convinced her. Being a Princess was a hell of a change compared to being a maid. Being a maid meant doing everything yourself, being a princess meant doing nearly nothing for yourself except breathing and bathing. If you wanted a minute to yourself you had to beg the other maids to take a break and leave you alone, even with menial tasks like brushing your hair or getting dressed.

But Mallory was a Shapeshifter and she was the only creature that could replicate Skylar’s body to the accuracy that the princess needed and for a prolonged amount of time. A witch would have been just as good but spells always came with an expiry date. The only thing that Mallory could not replicate was the Princess’ power. She was not a Powerful in reality.

Mallory was only lucky that she hadn't needed to pretend to use her Power. She would do everything she could to avoid it.

Even if she –

“My lady, the Queen would like to see you,” a maid was at the door, one which Mallory was familiar with by now.

“Alright, Aubrey I will go right away,” Mallory stood from the pillow she was sat on and headed towards the door. The Princess’ room was an example of finery, blue and green crystals for walls and Mallory didn’t know how Skylar stood for it. The whole palace was made of crystals, it was said to be powerful or something, but Mallory much preferred the modesty of the concrete walls of the kitchens. After all the kitchens were in the middle of the palace, no need for more protection than being surrounded completely by safety.

“I was asked to escort you to her, my lady,” Aubrey said and pretended not to see the other girl’s discontent. It was common knowledge that the Princess wanted more independence so Mallory was safe when mimicking her expressions. It was hard being a Princess, in up keeping this façade.

So she followed her maid through the crystallised walls watching as the crystals changed colours to more oranges and reds. Still, Mallory hated this finery but she hid her discomfort and engaged Aubrey in friendly conversation, this was something that the Princess did often, try to make friends with the maids. It’s how Skylar had found Mallory in the first place, and how she came about the knowledge that Mallory was able to do what she wanted with a few crystal bars as payment.

“Do you know what my mother wants, Aubrey?” Skylar always made sure to insert the maids name into conversation. Mallory was trained at what she did, this was not her first rodeo.

“No, my lady, I am sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she answered and they walked in silence for the rest of the way.

Aubrey took her to her parent’s private quarters, a place where all the most trustworthy people had ever been. There, her father waved away a curtsying Aubrey and directed her through a series of doors which decreased in height the further they went. Mallory had never been there before and so she had to pretend that she was familiar with her surroundings.

Her father would not say anything to her until they got to the final door and opened it. Inside was a room with clear crystal walls almost pulsing as Queen Maeve stood in the centre, her silver skin and white hair standing stark under the light of the object she held and Mallory had to resist gasping. The Queen held the Pantheon. It was common knowledge that the Queen was the possessor of the Pantheon that was why she was the Queen of Zeld and not just of Zeldor, their warded town, but Mallory had never seen it or heard of what it looked like.

The Pantheon was purple like Skylar’s eyes but more deep and rich. It was a sight to behold, faceted in rough triangles sixteen times on the surface but much more within. The Queen’s silver fingers held on fast to the stone, holding on to it for dear life and her eyes were shut tightly in concentration. Mallory knew that the Queen had silver skin because of the Pantheon, and she had had blonde hair a shade like Skylar’s before the Pantheon chose her. She did not have the nearly translucent skin of the Powerful’s, and she seemed to have bigger eyes which stood out on her face. Her ears were still pointed like her daughters and like the Kings, and she was tall but that was all that remained of the woman she had been before the Pantheon.

Finally, the Queen let go of the stone with a gasp, her eyes falling open and her grip shook as she placed the stone back into his glass case.

“It tells of danger,” the Queen’s voice shook as her husband went up to her. Mallory knew that she had to step closer to the Queen to seem concerned. But she had never heard of the Pantheon foretelling the future, she only knew that it told the Queen how the soul identified, Powerful, Powerless or Creature, Icarus or able to be redeemed, innocent or guilty.

“Are you alright dear?” the King asked and held his wife as she shook.

“What did you see?” She didn’t know if her words fit into the vocabulary of Skylar but she knew that she had to ask.

The Queen composed herself at the voice of her daughter and Mallory neared the Queen to take her hand. This was not a position that Mallory ever thought that she would have been in, maybe she should have asked for more crystal bars.

“Fire,” the Queen answered, “Trees burning, people running, explosions, fire, blood and horror.” The Queen shut her eyes for just a moment, shaking her head to rid her memory of the pictures she had seen. “That is why I have called you here, to be safe,” the Queen took her in her arms. The Queen was cold and it took Mallory by surprise.

“Did you know that nowhere is ever safe?” A voice hissed and the family broke apart. There was a man with blackened eyes, a squashed face and a brand on his neck of what looked like a lightning strike, the arching lines going down into his tunic. This was not an Icarus or anything that Mallory had ever seen before.

“Who are you? As Queen of Zeld I demand to know who you are!” The Queen shouted drawing her husband and daughter behind her.

“Oh Maeve,” and it was blasphemy not to refer to her by her title, “We are the Miracle and we have come for the imposter.” The man held a weapon in his hands, something long like a gun but with a knife coming out of the barrel. It looked hideous and otherworldly.

“There is no imposter here,” The king would have put a title on the end of it but he didn’t know what the man was and therefore no title would do.

The man chuckled, something deep and hilarious.

“You can’t even see what’s under your nose. You would let someone you don’t even know come this close to the Pantheon and that is incredibly naïve of you Maeve.” The man was advancing on them and it terrified Mallory. She could do nothing. The Queen pulled her further backwards.

A voice crooned in her ear, her father, “Skylar use it, use it,” he hissed and Mallory knew that he was referring to Skylar’s power.

But she was not Skylar. She was just Mallory and she was not a Powerful.

“But she’s not Skylar,” the man continued and then she was gripped backwards. There was another man behind them and he had her by her throat, constricting the ability to breath.

She panicked.

The weapon was trained on her. “The Miracle needs Skylar not you Mallory Everwood,” the man sighed as her captor that gripped her throat tightened his grip, “Your obsession is not our compulsion.”

She didn’t know what that meant. She didn’t have time to think about it because her vision was going and she was choking, begging for air.

The Queen tried to do something, move in front of the man and her daughter but she was pushed aside, careening to her knees. She appeared to stagger and her hair fell into her eyes. She couldn’t get up.

The Queen was the most powerful person on the planet besides the Pantheon itself, nothing and no one should have been able to do that to her.

The weapon was trained on her and the man who was holding her let her go. Mallory had two seconds of breath before the man was in front of her, watching as she gasped for breath on the floor. “Did you know that your name, Mallory, means to be unlucky?” he clicked with his tongue and his hands were steady on the weapon.

Between a wheezy breath and the next the weapon was activated and a knife shot out of the barrel aimed for her forehead. In a second or less the knife was where her third eye should have been and she was going backwards, head meeting floor, eyes going cold.

The Queen screamed in horror. The King shouted out.

Skylar Kingsley appeared dead on the palace floor.

Then slowly and carefully, the skin melted away, darkening and the cold eyes turned from purple to red.

Mallory Everwood laid on the floor dead and the Queen screamed again. 

~

 

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