Shadow World: Deception

Having inexplicably strange visions for months will bug your mind and every time Alex Wainwright ignores it, it just keeps on coming back - again and again. After the Dark War, she thought it was all over, that the secrets she have can be buried with her when she died. But she was wrong.

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2. Chapter 1: At Daybreak

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"The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
- Cesar Chavez

 

Chapter 1: At Daybreak

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      He find it hard to breathe at the passing second, knowing his lungs is about to give up, and the possibility of passing out is high. Exhausted he may be, he didn't dare for a pause even his wobbly feet wanted to. This forty-four year old man, tall yet stout, is on a wild run from a stranger dressed in black and red. 

      Millions of thoughts race inside his mind, as the wind whips pass his face, with his torn leather shoes and frayed old jacket. Thinking, how will his family live without him? How can they ever be okay? How could his three daughters graduate? That he, he didn't mean to hear any of it. He only happened to be at the wrong place in a wrong time.

      When he glance behind, the stranger wasn't there anymore. His heart leaped inside his chest, the suspense moving up that he can no longer fathom.

      "Looking for someone?" 

      The stranger asked, a tang of Australian accent, and he turned to see. It’s a man, in a dark sleeveless gear which a maroon hooded cloak covers. The muscles of his arms is toned brown and exposed to be strong and sturdy. His hair is dark and spiky, having eyes of two different colors - brown on the left, red on the right. 

      The stout man had never seen anyone like it before, and he was sweating head to toe, even in the cold breeze of four-fifty in the morning. It was still dark, just a glimpse of the half-moon and stars to light the not-so quiet streets of New York. 

      He's about to pull out his phone when the stranger averted his gaze at his arm and glared. The stranger's hand changed into a paw, same happens to his teeth - now small and sharp like a wolf. He backed away, horror stricken at his spot. 

      "M-m-mister ... I ... I d-didn't mean to hear that conversation. I won't tell a soul and I'll keep my mouth shut. I swear. Just don't kill me. Please, please have mercy. My family... I am all they have. Please... spare my life." He bend on his knees, pleading to a stranger who was to claw him to death.

      Meanwhile, Charlie Livingstone, a 17 year old shadowhunter, is on the edge of the roof, overhearing the conversation of a mundane and presumably a rogue werewolf. On her hand is a tablet, where she swipes the screen for controls and reach her colleagues.

      Tapping her earpiece on she said, "Felix are you there? I'm on 11th Avenue, there's a rogue werewolf talking down a mundane. Beetree sense it was serious. Get your ass off here before it's too late. You too, Nolan." She let out a sigh, knowing Felix had turned the speaker on for Nolan to hear.

      Beetree is a robot bee (where she got the nickname), which she controls over the tablet too. It has an HD camera and microphone that enables her to spy on anyone she would like. Shadowhunters though, seems to dislike the idea. They wanted to be away from technology as possible, but Charlie has different plans and as long as her plans help the institute to solve and catch criminals - then it wouldn't be much of a problem. Now, Beetree's glued on the broken streetlamp which light is switching on and off, in the middle of the mundane and the werewolf.

      "When your boss told you to go, you go. Not stay and eavesdrop on news aren't meant for your ears. Now, you're begging for mercy?" The stranger laughs. "Oh well, that is just rude."

      "Please. Listen. I have three daughters who wasn’t fortunate enough to go to college like they wished to, or at least to settle a life on their own. They need me to provide for them, my wife can't do it all alone. We weren't rich and if they lose me... I don't know what will happen. She cannot carry everything on her shoulders. They need a father." The man was already crying as the stranger step closer and closer.

      "Three daughters? That's interesting."

      "Please ... Please... Don't hurt them. I have no plans to interfere again."

      "We're at the corner." Felix replied, his long sword ready, peering out from the wall. It’s where Nolan stood on the north corner waving his arms at Felix, waiting for the perfect time to show themselves.

      "Who said you can--"

      The stranger was cut off when someone came down from a roof. A swift landing on two feet, almost like appearing magically. "What are you doing?" The woman said, standing behind the stout man who frightfully turned to look.

      "Cleaning someone's mess." The werewolf replied in a smug careless way. He hasn't been able to change into a wolf as much as he wanted because of the unexpected turns of event same with this one. He would've like to tear the man off to pieces, but someone interrupted.

      "By the Angel! Why haven't I noticed her? She may be just right across me." Charlie whined over their small communicating device.

      Nolan smirked and replied. "Guess our intel's been outsmarted."

      "Shut up. I'm going down." Charlie replied and before any of the two could protest, she traced a circle on the tablet's screen to compact it into a small one, and put it in her back pocket. Then she drew a rune to ensure safety on jumping down from a three story building, and launch herself ready for the high long drop. Not that high though, she spoke in mind.

      "Don't do it. Not when we're being watched." The woman replied in a dry odd tone, walking to stand beside the mundane, few steps behind the wolf. She wears a black leather long sleeve top, hips belted with weapons, shiny skinny pants and over strapped boots. Regardless of the moonlight nobody can see her face clearly. Under the hood, a white mask covers her forehead to the tip of her nose down below her cheekbones. Jaw is set hard, her plum red lips pointing – dead looking and gothic. Her jet black hair waves down the middle to its tips, and the green of her eyes shows nothing but despise.

      The stout man was looking back and forth to both strangers, trying to comprehend things his mind wouldn't understand. Sweating and shaking, he tries to find his way out, when a small spark of hope came.

      Charlie landed behind the werewolf in a crouching position, meeting the frightened face of the stout mundane. Her dark brown locks fall down her shoulders as she stands up, focusing her hazel brown eyes on the werewolf then to the woman. She grabs her unusual black sword, green along the edges that has a hilt twice longer than normal ones. A specially made sword her dad gave her on her seventh.

      "Shadow hunter." A tone of surprise came out from the werewolf. "What a splendid entrance." He smirk at Charlie. "Glad to have you in our feast."

      Before Charlie could respond, the woman walks to stand beside the wolf, but not too far from the mundane. "One more word and I'll shut your mouth myself." She said sharply and the werewolf sighed and motion to zip his mouth. "As for you, young shadowhunter..."

      "Stay where you are!" Shouted Nolan, his axe edged readily out front, while he walk until he is standing side to side with Charlie.

      Felix lets out a breath and he tried so hard to not do a face palm. "Why do you need to say that?" He muttered, irritated and confused while he walk on the south side, denoting their horizontal line position in his mind: woman, mundane, wolf, then Charlie and Nolan. Soon, he was ten feet away from the woman, just rightfully enough to add another description. Her cloak covers two katanas which were strapped crossly to her back, its hilt were of black and gold.

      "Isn't that what they say in the movies?" Nolan replied leaning to see Felix behind the woman, hopping like a mixed-martial artist ready to fight.

      "Oh, by the Angel, help us." Murmur Felix but the woman ignored them with one eye roll, before glaring at Charlie, who is standing motionless with her black and green sword idle by her side.

      "In the name of Angel Raziel." Felix said in a loud voice, his British accent helping it sound more formal, closing the distance of him to the woman whom he just catches the attention by whirling around and moving to him. Shielding the mundane away from them, which is now sandwiched between her and the werewolf.

      Felix search her emerald green eyes, but even with its thickness and intensity, the dullness around it cannot be mistaken. He lifted up his long sword and pointed it an angle to the woman. "Tell us of your identities."  He then roam his eyes, observing the two strangers about to do a horrendous crime.

      The werewolf laughs. "Still trusting that Angel who did nothing to help you with your war? Just left a sword from heaven which leaves a wound with no cure in that Herondale."

      "This-" Felix was about to say, but the woman butted in and shifted her glare back on the werewolf.

      "Last warning." She said in a voice so delicate yet strong. Womanly yet fierce and brutal at the same time. Then she turned, and Nolan stopped with the enthusiasm while Felix gripped his sword even more tightly.

      The tip is an inch away from the woman's chin, but she didn't flinch nor did she’d shown any emotions. Charlie stands ready to slash her sword, Nolan twisting the axe in his hand, and Felix watches the woman carefully - thinking if she too is a shadowhunter. A shadowhunter who betrays her kind. Besides, excluding the red hooded cloak, both of them wears gear the same with the Nephilim.        

      "Forgive my partner for doing such an idiotic job. It isn't our intention to hurt this man." The woman said defensively looking directly at Felix.

      "Liar!" Said Charlie, lifting her sword to the woman then to the wolf. "I saw everything this wolf did. Chasing a mundane at this hour, and by the looks of how this goes, in the end the wolf kills him. For what? Because he accidentally hear something he shouldn't have? Come on. I'm sure your mask doesn't cover your eyes."

      "Obviously." The woman replied stiffly, turning her head slightly to Charlie, feeling the cold touch of Felix’s blade by her chin. "That thing, is none of your business cybergeeko. If you think your helping this mundane, you're wrong. We don't have all the time in the world to have this conversation, so this is going to be plain and simple." Her tone pitched higher, with careful annotation of each vowel, darting her eyes from Charlie to Felix and Nolan. "Aren't we civil here shadowhunters? At least we strive to be. But now, I’m fairly asking you to pardon us this time. Allow us to bring the mundane with your blessing and I would take that mercy on account for our - if ever, next meeting. So shall, we can all live in peace."

      "We can't, as long as there are people like you." Charlie hisses, but neither did Felix nor Nolan utter a word. They both stayed in their position, holding their breaths and waited.

      "I haven't done anything wrong, have I?" The woman fired back, her eyes narrowed, worry and confusion powered her voice. "I stopped the supposed to be murder." Then, her head snaps back at Charlie, eyes blazing with disbelief. "But you... You were just watching at the rooftop, waiting for the damage to be done until you decide to get your ass off to work."

      Charlie was dumbfounded and speechless and she found herself dropping the sword down. It's like being slapped by the thickest almanac in the world. Crushing the already broken parts of your life. Feeding you back the ego you spat out. That, if you didn’t know any better, you can be consumed by that belief and be sank down deep below in defeat. Inevitable yet can be constructive if fate permits.

      What the woman said was true. She should have done something earlier than watch and wait for whatever worse is to come. But it's too late, and now it's her fault they're all stuck in this conversation.

      "You of all creature," continued the mysterious woman. "should know the law. We are all under the protection of the Accords. Yes. I agree and that is true. But unless one is proven guilty of a crime, you cannot just take them to fight against a small piece of evidence. You’ll lose.” Her lips slightly tugged up into a smirk.

      Charlie, Nolan, and Felix shared glances, whom to which the woman sensed. “But did we? Did we broke it? Have we killed the mundane? Or have my friend here, rather?”

      “No. Not yet, anyway.” Charlie quickly responded that the words almost tumbled out of her tongue and turn nonsense.

      The woman laughed, a bittersweet chagrin laugh that could make you wonder. “See? How’s that sound now? Still not convinced?”

      Felix, amused of the girl, who he can almost tell they could've been twins, move his blade to her neck. Again, she doesn't flinch nor shown any small movement. She just stayed still, staring into the green of his eyes.

      "If you tell us of the law, and claim to know it. You would've known that asking us to pardon you is never possible." Felix snapped but the woman's plum red lips just curved into a meretricious grin.

      "Very well." She said, then Felix charges. Slashing his sword to the woman, while his left hand holds a knife to thrust her stomach. But the woman was incredibly fast. She ducked in a swivel circle motion, whilst Felix's sword swings the air. Then she grabs Felix's hand before the tip ever reach her. Break his wrist which made him drop the knife, before sending a jab at his face – hitting him on the jaw hard. She stood watching as he stumbles few steps back and spits blood on the ground.

      Felix was stunned, for he can only count the times someone had countered him as fast and strong as that. Sometimes his trainer or instructor, his close friends, or his parabatai – Chris. He could feel the swelling cheek on his left. Though it didn’t matter at the time, as Nolan and Charlie charges against the two. But the werewolf, who’s still in human form, stops them from going any further, putting up a small fight Felix could barely register.

      The woman looked at him, intentionally with a smile. "Didn't mean to mess your face, pretty boy. I hope to see you again." She winks and before any of them could move, the woman holds the mundane's hand as the werewolf reaches them, and they disappeared.

      Gone, as if they weren't really there in the first place.

      "You alright?" Ask Nolan, breaking the silence and moving over to check Charlie, who was thrown off the wall by the werewolf when they tried to interfere. Now, she’s pushing herself up, pointing the sword on the asphalt, leaning and gripping it tight for dear life.

      Charlie nods to Nolan fully standing up, and dusts off her jeans. “I’m fine.” She looks over to Felix whose left cheek is burning cherry red, swiping with his fingers the blood away from under his nose.

      “What do you make of the girl?” Nolan asked, who like Charlie is watching Felix.

      “A shadowhunter of course. No mundane moves as graceful and swift as that.” Felix answered them, wrinkling his nose, and pulling out a handkerchief to clean the remains.

      Charlie then moves over to the broken streetlamp, pulls out her circular pad which turns square and starts controlling Beetree.

      “But I see no runes.” Nolan confusedly said, hanging back the axe on his belt and walking towards Felix.

      “That amount of clothing does the magic for her.” Felix replied, putting the sword back to its sheath.

      “Plus, she referred to us shadowhunters, at least me and Felix, using the pronoun ‘we’”. Charlie said facing them, Beetree hovering right by her ear. “Because technically you’re still a mundane, Nolan. Unless the Ascension is conducted, then you’ll be officially counted as one of ours.” Nolan half-grin half-shrug at her, not really sure how to react to her one of Charlie Livingstone’s facts and lines. “‘Aren't we civil here shadowhunters? At least we strive to be.’” She finished, quoting the woman’s very words moments ago to clarify her point.

      “O-kay. Now what?” Nolan asked looking to Charlie and Felix for answers.

      “We’ll head back to the institute and come up with a written report to Jace.” Felix nods at the two of them and the three walked back to where they parked their vehicles.

 

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