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(HS) Forgetting the Shadows

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5/22/2012 0:11:54   
Shadow Ravena
Paladin of Shadows

Where am I? Who am I? What am I? Am I even alive? Am I even real?

Oh, who are you? What are you doing here?

Don't want to tell someone you don't know? I get that. I don't know myself, so I guess we're even there.

Where are we? Didn't I already ask that? It looks like we're somewhere between death and life, reality and fantasy. Kinda like my mind... maybe we're in it!

Oh, don't you fret, you can leave whenever, if you can find a way out. Why not stay awhile? It's too dark to travel anyways.

Who am I? I already asked that! I do know, I have forgotten. Tis my way it seems. But perhaps I will tell what I remember.

Yes, yes... I will tell. I need to remember, I need to find who am I. And I need someone to hear... you will do. If your real. Not my imagination.

Well, whatever you are, let us begin. Try and not run off on me... it is so lonely in here.

I do not know who I am. This is who I became, after... well, we'll get to that in a minute.

I am Forgotten, for I have forgotten myself... I am a considered a killer. A villain... how strange. I used to appall that name... but I do not consider myself evil. My acts, maybe... myself... I do not know. I loathe evil, but practice it. I wish to do good... but cause harm. I would die in a minute to free the world of my presence... but cannot harm my flesh in any way. I am free in body, but bonded in mind... I live in reality, but dwell in fantasy. I am real... or is this all a dream?

Confused? Welcome to my world, my life, my mind. Light, dark, Good, evil... both and neither, same and yet opposite.

"Now, welcome... welcome to the Nightmare."
AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 1
5/22/2012 1:08:09   
Shadow Ravena
Paladin of Shadows

Discussion is here, start on page five/latest.

Chapter One: Such a Peaceful Day...

Run, run fast, don't get caught, don't think, just run fast fast.

I ran blindly through the woods, my attackers at my back. I could hear them pushing through the brush behind me, cursing when they tripped. I think there were five of them, but I didn't stop to make sure. They didn't have guns- I would be dead by now if they did- but they did have knives, one which was embedded in my jacket/arm. I had not the time to remove it, nor to treat the wound on my face that was blinded me. The darkness didn't help... then again, at least my pursuers couldn't see me either.

The river, I got to make it to the river... if I can get there, I'm safe, I can lose them in the water... just gotta outrun them.

My sides ached, my legs burned. Adrenaline replaced my blood, fear replaced my brain. All I knew was darkness and blood and people chasing me and needing to run. Nothing else mattered.

A crashing alerted me to a pursuer stumbling. From the cursing, I think some others ran into him. Good, that meant I had more of a lead.

A whizzing sound passed my hair by an inch. A knife! If it weren't dark that would have hit. I ran harder.

There, the tree's were breaking up. The river was just ahead! Another minute, and I would be home free... or at least have some advantage.

We ran out into the clearing, the full moon illuminating it clearly. Off to my right I heard the river, but ran straight, needing the depth to dive into. That wasn't for a dozed yards, but any closer and I could break my neck. And wading in wasn't an option.

A grunt from behind, a desperate dive! I leaped up, barely missing the man on my way down. Landing, I sprinted harder, knowing they were right behind. No one tried to throw a knife- they didn't trust their aim. I prayed it stayed that way.

There, the pool was just up ahead! The depth I needed... using up the last of my strength, I ran straight for it.

The thugs were surprised, but their shouts showed they figured me out. A quicker one was right at my heels, the others lagged behind him. No matter, another five feet!

Near the edge I jumped- the knife! Agonizing pain, a knife in the back. My dive broken, I fell sideways in the water, sinking slowly down. I could hear the other thugs catch up, yell at the knife-thrower, who yelled back. Then they started laughing, at me, at my clumsy attempt at escape.

That did it. Maybe it was their laughter, maybe it was what they did earlier...


My parents, dead, my sister God knows where. Them, leering at each other, splitting the spoils. Laughing over their bloody corpses, their touched bodies. They died slowly, painful, death of blood loss after who knows how many small cuts. I-I walked in on them, coming home from school. I did not know they were there... the voices upstairs tipped me off. I looked, they saw, I ran, ran, ran...


My eyes clicked open. Laugh? They would LAUGH after what they've done, as though it was some big joke? As though they did nothing?

A rage built up inside me, poisoning me from the inside out. I contorted, overcome with pain... my flesh rippled and changed before my very eyes.

My skin turned death white, my eyes, red and amber... and from my back sprouted bat wings, dark as midnight. But inside, the change was greater... it was though all the pain, all the sorrow, all the anger that had built up over the years was in control... and everything else was banished. But, it wasn't blind... it was cold, calculating, psychopathic... just what I needed to kill those men.

Turning towards the surface, I swam up, my wings helping to power me. Once in the air, they took over, raising me above the men's heads. They looked up, mouths agape, a look of utter terror on their faces.

I chuckled coldly at their expressions. "Now you know what fear is, you who would inflict it so carelessly. So tell me, what does it feel like?" They did not answer, not that I expected one. "You who would kill at the drop of a hat, what do you think your fate should be?"

One thug found his tongue. "M-mercy! We did not mean it, it was money, we needed the food-" I cut his driveling off.

"Mercy? After what you have done? After you tried to kill me? You would plea mercy from me?" They did not answer, but some turned to run. I darted forward, knocking him over with my legs, back to the group. The last one I lifted by the neck, my now enhanced strength holding him their like a vise.

I looked at the man. The knife-thrower. A cold smile crossed my lips. "Ah, ye who would kill me. Shall thou taste thy own steel?" Pulling the knife from my back, I let him look at it for a moment, then drove it through his head, his skull crumpling under the impact. I tossed him aside into the river, then grabbed another. He started to fight me, but I merely hit him on the head with the hilt before ramming him as well. Now the other three tried to flee, but swooping low I blocked them, hemming them in next to the river edge. Obviously, they could not swim. I took one of them by the wrists, then stunned him before throwing him back on the ground. The other two I stunned as well, then cut through their elbows and knees, and pushed them into the river. They would drown before blood loss killed them. As for the last, I approached him.

He cowered away from me, scrabbling backwards. I merely held up a hand for him to stop. He did, and watched me, terror in his eyes.
"You, you quick little slinker, go. I should kill you, but the authorities must have a witness. And don't think you can escape them, I will make sure of that. Now, go." I said, pointing across the clearing to where a road was. He scrambled away, then got up and ran. I watched him until he disappeared, and took off into the sky, heading for my house.

Tomorrow would come and bring who knows what. But for now, I needed to think... and figure out where to go next.
AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 2
5/23/2012 17:37:44   
Shadow Ravena
Paladin of Shadows

Chapter Two: A Meeting of the Mind

I streaked back to the house, a dark and white blur against the sky. I did not consiter where these new powers had come from, or how I knew how to use them, or why my personality had suddenly changed. I was still in a blood-rage, and my mind only registered hatred. However, one part of my mind was forcing the issue of what had happened, forcing me back to the house.

I landed in front of the house, and went on into the kitchen. It was still dark out, and the moonlight streamed in from a nearby window, illunimating the room in cold light. Standing by the window, I looked up at the moon and smiled. "Ah, my old friend, how are you doing?"

Maybe it was because it was a happy memory, but I could feel a conflict in my mind. A part that had seemed to left me returned, and with it a new sight on what I had done. Trembling, I gripped the window sill. "Oh God, what have I done? I killed those men!" I felt like I would throw up, but a burst of pain inside my head made me sink to the ground. I could feel my body shrink back to regular size, my wings disappear and color return to my skin. Hunched over, I held my head and tried to make sense of the throughts fighting inside. It was almost like someone was trying to wresle control away from... and in my distrat state I could not stop them. I did not give up though, and started to feel the real world slip away... I fell over but did not feel it, my conscience deep inside my mind.

I opened my eyes to a dark room, with no ceiling or wall in sight, or source for the sickly light that lit the area. I barely had time to look around before blow to my head came from behind. Pitching forward, I swung my arm back to hit my assailant, grasping their shirt and throwing them a bit to my side. Leaping up, I turned to face them.

"Annabelle? Is that you?" I was extremely confused. At my feet lay my long time companion, Annabelle. But she looked... different. Her hair was still black, her skin white and eyes amber, but the bat wings were new, and she was larger than before. She looked... exactly as I had a minute ago.

"This is impossible! Why do you look different? What happened?"

"What happened was that I grew stronger. Now, I can fight, not cower like the weakling thee are."

"I am no weakling and you know it! How long have we been together?"

She smirked. "Since birth. But I have helped you more than you could ever help yourself. Without me, you would be nothing!"

"Without ME you wouldn't be alive! And don't you forget your place."

She leaned her head back and laughed long and coldly. "My place? Since when did you care about that? I do as I please, just as always." There was a look in her eye, a edge to her voice... she had changed, not just in body.

"Annabelle, you're... different."

"Not really. Just... released. No more chains bind me- I can do as I please, without your petty morality stopping me."

My temper flared at that. "My morality is what makes me different from an animal- is what makes me human! You would reject that?"

"Yes," she said simply. I started to reply, then stopped. Thinking, I spoke slowly.

"I does not matter. You are not in control, I am. You are but a part of my mind- a friend I relied on when things were hard. You are half my heart, but you do not control me. I can contain you, help you to change, to learn..."

"She interrupted me. "Learn? What? How to be weak, like you are? I can survive, you cannot. I keep us alive."

"At what cost? At least I think about someone besides myself!"

"Suurrreee. That's why you let me take over, knowing I would kill those men."

I looked away. She was right. "I needed to survive. But you... it wasn't killing them. It was torturing them before you did. I did not ask for that!"

She smiled leeringly at me. "I do not care. And now that I have control... I don't have to."

"This is my mind, not yours! You will do as I say!"

"Not anymore. You lost your right to rule. And besides... you are outnumbered." With that, from the shadows several people emerged. My eyes nearly bugged out when they did.

Walking slowly forward, I looked at them. "Joan? Why did you join her?" The aura guardian merely looked away, avoiding my gaze, her dark hair hiding her glowing blue eyes. "Aurora, you have even stronger morals than I! Why join leagues with this madman?" The energy being showed me the scars and bruises she had, the chain that held her hands behind her back and her legs to the ground, her silver eyes showing sorrow and guilt. Nodding, I stepped beyond her at the least person I expected to see. I had to look up to see the dark eyes and red hair, her red dress sparkling in the dark light. "Scarlet? What are you doing?! You're suppose to be my conscience! The wise one of the two of us. Why join up with her?!"

Scarlet replied, voice dejected. "I do not have a choice. She can keep us alive, you will fall. I gave my power to her so she would live... so we all would live."

I backed up, fear in my eyes. "You gave your mind over to her. Now... now you have no control left!" She nodded, sorrow in her eyes. Annabelle must have been planning this... for once we were in a situation I would need to give up control, she targeted the others... forcing them to join her. Joan... it looked like she was an inch from dying, her aura gone... she could not fight and still live. Aurora tried to fight... and lost. Scarlet tried to help... not realizing the trap she walked into. Annabelle was stronger than any of us guessed, least of all myself. But...

"Where is Elizabeth? I do not see her here."

Annabelle sneered. "That weakling? Right here." From behind her I could the small elfin girl, no more than six, with baby blue eyes and blong hair that reached her waist, hiding her white dress. I ran up to her, but at a gesture from Annabelle I halted. "Come any closer and I will kill her."

I replied back, hatred in my voice, "Let her go. She is a child, you have no quarrel with her!"

"Oh? Trying to protect the only innocence you ever had? You are more blind than I realized. Besides, she came to me willingly."

I looked at Elizabeth. "Is that true?"

"You were going to die! Your wound was killing you... I had to let Annabelle have my power, or..." she broke down now, weeping. I started to move forward to comfort her, but a wave of Annabelle's hand stopped me. Instead, I just called to her softly.

"It's okay, you did your best. Don't worry, I'll get us out of this."

This made Annabelle shriek with laughter. "Get out of this? Pray, how are you planning to do that? I am much stronger than you, and you are outnumbered!"

I motioned towards the others. "They cannot fight me. I have not allowed it, and even if you can challenge me Annabelle you can't make it so they can." I narrowed my eyes. "And I will not lose to you."

Sending Elizabeth away, Annabelle drew her sword, a midnight black katana. "We shall see about that."

I drew my own sword, a shining gold broadsword. "We shall." Then charging at her, the fight began.

Annabelle met my sword with her own, and after struggling for a minute I managed to push her back. Swinging her sword out wide and low, she aimed for my knees, while I jumped up, bringing my sword down on her back. She blocked the blow, and countered with a swing at my chest. Twirling around, I parried her blow and aimed for her midrib. Knocking my blade down, she held it their with her foot while swinging at my head. I ducked, then headbutted her backward. Swinging my sword up, I tried to hit her shoulder, but no such luck. She swung out again at my side, which I failed to parry in time. A agonizing blow to my side with the flat of her sword sent my reeling, and knocked my to the ground. I looked up at her, completely winded, and expecting to die.

Instead, Annabelle just held her sword-tip over my throat. "I do not wish to kill you, but I will if I have to. Do I have to?"

"Why do you want me alive anyways? Wouldn't I just get in your way?"

"Well, if you won't obey me I will have to kill you for sure. But as it stands, I need your power."

I laughed at that, though a look of hatred stayed in my eyes. "MY power? Don't you have enough! You have the fire magic of Scarlet, the energy manipulation of Aurora, the aura control of Joan and the healing power of Elizabeth, besides your own shapeshifting! What more do you need?!"

"That. How did you list those powers off?"

I thought about it. "I do not know..."

"Well, I do. You are a telepath- I need your ability to dominate the mind. And besides... I cannot operate in regular sociaty like you can. I need a cover person to deal with other people."

"What, you AREN'T planning on killing everyone? I'm surprised."

"I only kill to survive. My main objective to to keep us all alive, no matter what. I could care less about the humans either way, they can live or die as they please as long as they do not threaten me."

"And you need me to tell you when they are threatening, what they are planning against us."


I shook my head. "You are insane... and an psychopath."

"I care not for others or morals. That is not all the qualifications of a psychopath."

"You know what I mean."

"I do, but be specific."

"Okay then, you are an utter survivalist who only cares for self."

"Bravo, give her an award. Yes- as I do have emotion, I can work... and admit I need help. So, will you help me?"

I thought about it. She certainly was more amoral than before... but it wasn't like this was new, I was always part-psychopath. If Annabelle needed my help, she would listen to me... and maybe then I could keep some people safe. Maybe I could even do some good. Then again, if she turned evil instead of just not caring, there would be trouble... but for now, I may be able to prevent it. "I will help you. But I will not give over my will or power."

She laughed at that, then helped me up. "Then how about we share? I can use telepathy, you can use shapeshifting."

I was wary of that offer. "What would you still need me for then?"

"Interpretation. A more level head. Someone to take over when I get bored."

Well, at least she was honest to me. "Okay then." Instinctively knowing what to do, I walked up to her and we clasped hands. Muttering together, we said, "She shall share the power I have." We both started glowing for a brief moment, then we broke apart. I turned to my... partner... Annabelle, and said, "Now what?"

"We leave before the authorities show up. Where to?"

So we really were working together. I guessed as long as she felt in control, it would stay that way. Now that I was passive, she had calmed down... once I stopped fighting, she stopped attacking. Like a wild dog, I must not give her a reason to attack- and she may even be friendly if I don't.

"Why don't we find a forested area, away from too many people, and then plan what we will ultimately do."

"Sounds good. Now, lets go up to the control tower." Grabbing my arms, Annabelle flew up with me in tow, until we passed out of the darkness and into a small room, one wall all glass. Outside the glass we also darkness though... "Where are we?"

"In a room where you can observe the rest of the world. While I'm in control and visa-verse, you will be here, watching and speaking to me if necessary."

"Sounds like a plan. Now, you better get going."

She nodded and took of. I sat in a chair in front of the "window," and watched in fascination Annabelle control my body. This arrangement was odd to say the least, but maybe it could end up for the best.

Then again, knowing my luck, that was the last thing that was likely to happen...
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