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Rated: 13+ · Novella · Fantasy · #1689572
Part two of "A New Age"

Mansion, Chicago:
Jones, who is obviously not used to the lack of flexibility in his new body, walks into his room. He turns and slams the door. His mistress would not listen to his pleas to join the unit which was to destroy the gang calling themselves Ensis Felium. He was breathing heavily in anger.
He turns back around to look at the room given to him. The first thing he noticed was a large window that covered a whole wall, there was nothing obstructing the view. A plasma screen TV was in the far corner of the room, it came with nearly every addition in the world. The bed was a size unfamiliar to him, it could have been larger than many of his previous rooms put together. There was a coffee table in the center of the room, right at the foot of the bed, which, now that he looked at it, had a couch attached to back of it. There was a computer right next to the TV, from the looks of it, it had connections to any part of the internet in the world. At least she spoils her successful servants richly, he thought as he noticed the phone next to the bed for service.
He lay down in the bed and flicked on the TV. Immediately there was a strange figure in the room. It was a tall figure wearing something that looked like a cloak from a science-fiction book or movie, a hood hid the figure‘s face. He had a large gun on his back which was unfamiliar to Jones. The very presence of the being was one of power. Bow to me, my servant.
Jones was so surprised, he nearly fell to his knees. The being spoke directly to his mind and not physically to his ears. “Who are you?”
Bow and pay your respects to the one Great One, who is greater than the Greatest Light himself.
Jones knelt. Still kneeling he repeated his question. “Who are you?”
I am the one your kind calls Brownsnout. You are no longer among the weakling humans, but among the highest race there possibly is. I have made you what you are and you are the only one who is to hear me speak. You are my chosen one. My original people have been eliminated by a cheating thief, I have come to rebuild the greatest empire ever. Once that is accomplished, you will be ruler of all I see.
Jones really liked the sound of this. Brownsnout had hit his weak spot with ease, but doubt was still there. “How do I know you’re telling me the truth?”
First of all, I am speaking to your mind. Here is the second proof. Brownsnout pointed out the large window. A bolt of lightning came down and immediately a fire was lit. He waved his hand, the fire went out. Is that proof enough for you? Jones nodded, his eyes almost permanently widened and his mouth without words. Good, now come, we have much work to do.

Quincy, Massachusetts, a small house in the suburbs:
Tom and Clara were sitting at the table, heads leaning against the diamond. They were asleep. Jim was driving Matt home, but not without protest. They were also the only ones at the house. Tom and Clara had spent the whole evening trying to figure almost insolvable problems.
First up was the transformation. As Tom and Clara were most effected, even though Jim was closer related to Clara, they wanted to find out the problem more than the others. The second mystery was the book. What was it and how in the world did it end up under the diamond when it never was moved? They were still very tired from the robbery that gave them the diamond, so they had fallen asleep around sunset.
Clara was the first to wake and she woke up quickly. She seemed to have forgotten the previous day’s events. Her first thought was about Jim, where was he? Her second thought, after she saw Tom‘s shirt, was why Tom was the only one around. She also vaguely wondered why it was so light. She lifted her head and looked around. It was forty minutes past one, in the morning. She groaned, that was way too early for her, but some instinct had waken her up with a jolt and she was going to find out what. Her eyes fell on Tom, the sight woke her up completely and brought the previous day‘s memory back.
He looked as if some genetic disease had taken him, he looked like a lynx. His bodily features were in the same place, but they were all changed. His nose was small and triangular, brown too. His ears were a perfect imitation of a lynx’s, pointed with tufts of fur. His hands had considerably larger nails also and they didn’t look as if they were going to break easily. He was completely covered in fur, not long fur, but not short fur either. His hair was all the same, thankfully, she thought. Her brow furrowed, she had no idea why she thought that.
Tom woke up after she had taken his transformation in. He looked at her, his pupils were now perfect slits and their color was a misty green. The slits widened, but his eyelids did not. Clara narrowed her eyes, she could guess what he was thinking, she looked exactly the same as she did yesterday. Tom decided to speak before criticism came. “What time is it? And why the heck are we alone?”
Clara brushed her hair out of her face. “One-forty-five for the first question, the second I have no idea. Maybe some prank from my brother and Matt. Although why neither of them are back surprises me.”
Tom perked his ears up. “Shhh.”
Clara toned down to a whisper. “What is it?”
“Something or someone is outside. Get our weapons ready.” Clara did as she was told, smirking at Tom‘s new tail. The weapons were stored in a secret room. When guests were over, they stored their weapons there too. Jim had taken his weapons, Matt had too, but that was expected. She picked up her sniper rifle and energy knives and Tom’s pistol and rifle, along with his favorite whip. She smiled, she loved watching him spin around with the whip. He never took it with him on robberies and she wondered why. He only liked practicing with it. The equipment was very light in her arms.
As she was passing the bathroom, she couldn’t resist but to take a look. She glared, she had grown a tail, although not as bushy as Tom’s, fortunately. She looked like a panther, her pupils were still slitted strangely, panther’s didn’t have slitted pupils. She shook her head and brought the weapons to Tom.
He was looking out one of the windows, his tail was twitching. She put the weapons down and put a hand on his shoulder. “What is it?”
His jaw was tight. “Sirius, they found us. They overestimated and underestimated us at the exact same time, unfortunately.”
“What do you mean?”
“There are thirty armed men out there. Apparently they didn’t think that a gang of four could steal that diamond.”
“So what you’re saying is, we’re gonna die?”
“Precisely.”
Clara smiled. “What are we waiting for?”
“Them to make the first move. Get the explosives.”
Clara grinned as she went back to get the desired equipment. She came back and put her sniper rifle over her shoulder, she placed the knives in loops on her specially made belt. Tom had his pistol pocketed, his rifle was out. Clara looked around, she wasn’t the only one with a strength increase. In the few minutes she was gone getting the explosives, he had rearranged everything so that it was easiest to defend the diamond. Tom looked at her. “They’ll be breaking in through the front door. Make sure you kill every one you shoot at.”
Clara smiled, there was no questioning that. She readied the sniper and looked through the scope, she set it at the door. There was no banging, Sirius was trying to sneak in. The sound of footsteps, men getting into position. The door began to creak open, a beam of light scanned the room, it fell on their fort. A curse word, then shouting began. Clara could see movement, but what surprised her was that she could see her opponents clearly through her scope, which did not have night vision. She got over her shock quickly, they were starting to come in.
Whispers were heard. “Get in, maybe the pile-up of furniture is just how they leave it.”
“Samuel!” A sharp whisper. “There’s a gun!” Clara knew that her sniper barrel had been seen, fortunately it was aimed. Before she shot however, Tom placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Leave the house!”
A look of surprise came over the seven men in the house. The one designated Samuel spoke. “Our goal is not the house, it’s to eliminate you.”
Tom took his hand off Clara’s shoulder, a signal to fire. She complied quickly, the first shot of the battle.

Arctic Circle:
John woke a while later. The sun was setting, John smiled. At least he got to see the sun set and the moon rise. A confused look came over his face, where was his tent? He looked around, he first saw a pair of arms. They were ice blue and scaly, obviously not his. He tensed, ready to leap away. Their positioning meant that the creature was under him. He watched one arm while he felt around for his beam pistol, it wasn’t there. All there was in the spot he left his pistol was a long blue katana. He reached for it, and gasped as one of the scaly arms reached for it also. He shot his hand out and felt the hilt in his closed hand. He looked, the arm got it first. But how was he feeling it? A dawning of realization came over him, he realized it was his arm.
It was then that he looked at himself. He was formed into some sort of half-dragon creature, just like Dracopoten said, he thought. He got up; his wings were curled behind him, he unfurled them. They were long, but not as long as David’s. Thinking of David made him look around for his companions. They were all just waking up, they were all just like him, the only difference was color and some physical attributes. Adam had red scales and longer horns on his head. Carl was yellow, it seemed like he had gained control over some mystic power because electricity was cracking around his body. David was a misty white, his wings were the longest of them all. John smirked at what a sight they made, a band of creatures that did not belong in the world. He shook his head. “We should get moving. We need to stay out of one place. Let’s go back to the center of the Arctic Circle.”
The other three looked at each other, amused by each other’s looks. Carl spoke up and spoke really quickly. “I’ll follow, I kind of need to learn to keep my energy under control.”
David spoke second. “I’ll follow if Adam follows.” He smiled, he knew Adam would follow.
They began their trek back through the Circle. It was a slow going journey, but it was interesting with Carl trying to gain control of his overflowing power. They were wandering, no goal was planned, no destination set. They were clueless, not knowing who or what they were. They were being led by a golden dragon back into uncharted area and that was their only hope of survival.

Quincy, Massachusetts:
Jim had spent the whole night talking with Matt. Jim found Matt’s feelings for his sister overwhelming. Matt was in awe of her and in part jealous. Apparently Matt had emotion for his sister, which took Jim off guard, Matt had kept it hidden really well. And Matt was jealous that Clara was being transformed into a super-being in his eyes. When the sun rose, Jim got his equipment and he and Matt returned to Jim’s house.
What they saw was totally unexpected. The house’s door was blown down, riddled with bullets. They rushed out of the car. They had to climb over a number of bodies, most of them had the mark of Sirius visibly on them, they noted. They looked around. Nothing was left intact in any way, shape, or form. There was a pile of destroyed furniture, two bodies were lying on it, more around it. They rushed to the bodies.
The sight was totally unexpected, in more than one way. One way was the fact that the bodies were half-cats. The second was that, from the evidence, even with multiple wounds they still fought back-to-back, literally. Clara had her knives and Tom was holding, of all things, a whip with metal bits. They were both covered with blood, but even with so many enemies around them, it was mostly their own.
Jim lifted his sister in his arms, he couldn’t imagine her being gone, without him at her side. He let loose a flood of tears, he couldn’t hold it in. Two friends, gone, without him to at least attempt to protect them. He looked up at Matt, both their faces were red. Matt spoke first. “The attackers left not even ten minutes ago, I think we can catch them.” Jim and Matt counted the dead bodies around their friends. There were thirty-six.
Jim managed a smile. “She never was able to do anything without a fight. Why shouldn’t we?”
Matt smiled also. “We’ll have to go back to my house, my beam pistols are there.”

Mansion, Chicago:
The report had come back, Jones was jumping with joy, he had no idea why. Maybe it was because both his masters were happy. Brownsnout still wore his hood, but his joy was seeping in waves from him. His mistress was noticeably happier, as she had already fulfilled Jones’ requests without questioning. Jones looked at the large gun on the wall, a gift from Brownsnout. He was told it could shoot through diamond without slowing down.
He lifted the gun off the wall, he was going to do his master’s first request. He was going to make sure the recently stolen diamond was destroyed. He opened the large window, he looked to make sure the door was locked, and left.
His car was improved, courtesy of Brownsnout again. It could go speeds so fast, it would seem invisible, except to radars. Once again, Brownsnout had taken care of that. He had placed something he called ‘ringers’ in the car. The ringers would confuse radar systems, making it seem as if he wasn’t there. Jones was ready to go.

Quincy, Massachusetts, near the boarder of Connecticut:
Jim and Matt were driving on the highway. Their eyes were open for any car belonging to Sirius. They had been searching for hours, they were searching for the wrong vehicle.
Matt leans his head against the window, weariness is leaning with him. It tempts him to sleep, he resists, though barely. Grief and anger help him. He shakes his head and sits upright again, it was then he noticed the hovercopter. He shook Jim. “I think we found them.”
Jim looked up, he put his foot on the gas, he was determined to catch them. His cell-phone rang, he signaled Matt to answer. Matt reached over and pulled the phone out of the cup-holder. He didn’t bother looking at the number, he could guess who it was. “Hello?’
A female’s voice that reminded him of Clara’s answered. “Hi, where are you?”
Matt furrowed his brow, why would someone from Sirius be asking him this? “We’re chasing you, right behind your escape copter.”
A pause, a confused reply came. “We don’t own a copter, Matt.”
Matt’s eyes went wide. He dropped the phone. Jim looked over at him, then at the phone which had clapped shut upon landing. “Hand me the phone.” He requested in a weary tone. Matt rubbed his eyes and reached down to pick up the phone. He handed to Jim, who opened it up and pressed a few buttons. Jim immediately slammed on the breaks, nearly causing a tractor-trailer to slam into them. He waited for an opportunity, he took it. He made an illegal u-turn, immediately causing a cop car nearby to turn on his sirens and chase them.
Jim lost the cop easily. Matt picked up the phone, he was wondering what was causing Jim’s madness. He opened the phone and looked up recent calls. He saw the most recent number and gasped.
Quincy, Massachusetts, a small house in the suburbs:
A cell-phone clapped shut, it was placed on the right arm of the couch. “Now why’d they do that I wonder?” Clara smirked to herself. The smirk was quickly lost in a wince. “Could you do this more gently?”
Tom looked up at her. He had almost completed the bandage on her left arm. “No, actually, I can’t. Like she said, not all the wounds would be healed. Unfortunately for you, this was one of them.”
Clara looked at her bandaged arm. She shivered and drew the black cloak tighter around herself, the loss of blood made her cold. “Should I try them again?”
Tom shook his head. “They won’t believe this until they see it.” He gave her a pitied look. None of his wounds were near as bad as hers. He had to have a few bandages, but those were for scratches, and had not been applied as Clara’s arm was priority. Clara started heaving. Tom quickly grabbed the nearby bucket. She leaned over and vomited into the already half-full bucket. Tom looked in, nearly vomiting at the sight. “They must have been aiming for your stomach. I wonder why you were the base target?”
Clara just looked wistfully into the distance. “Couldn’t have been the fact that I had already killed four of them before they could aim. Nor could it have been the fact that I had killed nearly twice as many as you did. Other than those vague reasons, I have no idea.” She said this almost coldly. Tom smiled, she still had not lost her sense of humor. They settled into the couch, looking around at the progress they had done to repair the destroyed house. They had not had the chance to complete it, because the blood on Clara’s arm was becoming evident even through her black shirt.
A screech of tires on pavement was heard outside. Clara looked at Tom, “They’re back.”
Two car doors slammed, quick, hard footsteps were heard. The door burst open, nearly undoing the repair. Matt and Jim stood in the doorway, imitating fish. Clara and Tom just smiled at each other, then they looked at the two very shocked men in the doorway.
“Aren’t you going to come in?” Clara couldn’t help but smiling at Tom’s unhidden humor as he said this.
“Yes, please do. We would like to know where you two went.” Her eyes were calm, even though her face was the perfect smiley face.
Matt regained his voice. “WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED? We left for a few hours and came back to find you two dead! We go off to avenge you, now we come back, after nearly being destroyed by a tractor-trailer, and find you two, sitting on the couch, pretty much-” He stopped, not knowing how to explain what he saw.
Clara raised an eyebrow, smile slowly fading. “Yes?”
Matt opened and closed his mouth, quickly turning red. He was realizing how ridiculous what he was saying really was. The living room was back to the way it was before the attack, or close to. He had to admire their progress, especially without tools. He closed his mouth and tightened his jaw. Jim shook his head, he was totally confused.
Clara laughed, “Come sit, we will explain.” As she spoke, she raised her left arm and pointed to a pile of very destroyed chair. As Jim and Matt watched, the chair seemed to repair itself. In not even ten seconds, the chair looked as if it had never been damaged.
Jim turned his attention back to his sister’s arm. He saw the bandage that went from the wrist almost to her shoulder. He saw her wince and draw it back gently, but quickly. He was more concerned at that than he was mystified by her interesting talents.

A car, speeding quickly across the nation:
Jones looked at his watch, four-thirty. He had gone across two states in less than an hour and a half. The sound of air being suctioned out of an area, a cloaked figure appeared in the passenger seat. Jones winced, he hated surprises.
We are looking for the hovercopter holding the diamond I have told you about. I have just searched ahead, we will come across it within thirty minutes.
“Very well. What do I do then?”
I will tell you what to do when it is time to do so.
They sat in silence for the next fifteen minutes. Jones looked behind him, his gun was securely in back. He looked forward, a dot was slowly appearing in the sky.
There it is!
“How do I get up there?”
Like this. Saying this, Brownsnout reached out a gloved hand and pressed a button on the middle of the steering wheel. The car seemed to explode. Jones closed his eyes. When he reopened them, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
He was flying. No, not he, the car was flying. It had changed into a small aircraft. He was going directly at the hovercopter through the air. Jones looked warily at his master and turned back to steer the aircraft. They were about to crash. Jones looked at his master with fear. Brownsnout just waved his hand arrogantly. Jones tensed himself for a crash. None came, Jones opened his eyes.
He was inside the hovercopter. He looked around. It was only being controlled by four men. A blond man was not moving, nor was he controlling anything, he was just standing there. He seemed to hear something, he turned to look behind himself. Jones gasped, it was Samuel. Samuel smiled when he saw Jones. “It looks as if we have a guest. How are you Jones? I have heard much about your accomplishments.”
Jones wondered for a moment on how Samuel knew him. It struck him, Jones was half a fox, by now all of Sirius would know him. He reached to feel his back, his gun was there, apparently Brownsnout put it there. “Greetings Sam, I have a mission to do and it would do you well not to interfere.” He used the short version of Samuel’s name on purpose.
Samuel glared, “And what would this mission be?”
Tell him, it is okay.
“I have come to destroy the diamond.”
Samuel smirked. “I am afraid that will not be possible. We paid for it with the blood of thirty-six men, we are not giving it up that easily. Besides, how are you going to do it?”
At the news of how many it took to destroy the small gang, Jones smiled. “So, it took you that long to crush that gang. How many did it have? Twenty?”
Samuel glared. “Two.”
Jones’ eyes widened, of all the numbers he could come up with that one was least expected second only to one. “Did they have a self-destroying house or something? What happened?”
“They knew we were coming and set up a fort of furniture. One had a sniper and she took-”
“SHE?”
“Yes, she. Now will you let me finish? She killed off four of us with one shot. While she was reloading, her companion used a rifle to fire at us. He threw a grenade out the door, it didn’t kill anyone, but it did wound a few. By that time she had reloaded and was ready to take out a couple more, to be specific, three. So before we fired a shot, they had already killed ten of us. We rushed in. The man was only able to shoot once before we were at their fort. She slammed one of us on the head with her sniper. Then she pulled out her daggers and he pulled out his whip. I was with a row in the back, I directed most of the bullets at her stomach. They are both thoroughly dead twice over.”
Jones was impressed, but it soon melted into shock when he was taken by his arms from both sides. The story was a ruse, meant to keep him distracted from what was happening. The men took his gun and bound him with many ropes. He was hit on the back of the head and all went black.

Arctic Circle:
The four companions waited. For what they did not know. David looked around, there was nothing special about the center of the Arctic Circle. It was just a large layer of ice. He spread his wings, he jumped into the sky flapping his wings hard. He looked down on his companions, they were trying to figure flying out still, he was already pretty good at it. He could maneuver himself in almost any way up in the sky, he felt the air join him in flight, he felt natural at it. After a few minutes of flying through the air, Adam finally came and joined him. He was puffing and breathing hard, but he was clearly glad of his accomplishments. David noticed there was a large battle-axe on his back, it was covered in a weird language of some sort. David felt around on his back, there was a large bow and a quiver of arrows. He looked down to his other two companions, they also had weapons. John had a katana on his waist and two single-handed axes on his back. Carl had a whip made of metal, its flexibility made able by well-placed joints.
David swooped down to them. “Try jumping and then flapping your wings.” John and Carl looked at each other, shrugged and tried it out. They were immediately in the air beside David, Adam was still trying to maneuver.
David flew up to him, Adam glared. “How the heck do you manage to do this?” He let out a growl of anger, causing flames to shoot out of his nose.
David shrugged. “You have fire, I have good flying. It evens out in the end. But I want to know why we were given all this if we’re not going to fight.”
A shadow came over the both of them. David looked quickly up, Adam swore and dropped. A thin sword swiped the air right where Adam previously was. John smiled, “Then let’s fight each other.”
David glared at him. “I have a bow, it comes with-” He paused so that he could pull out an arrow, it had a diamond tip. “-Diamond tipped arrows.”
John just looked at him. “Shoot one at me.”
“What?”
“Shoot one at me.” David looked at him. John was not wearing armor of any kind, just his scales. “Well, go on.”
David trusted John, “Very well.” He yanked the bow off his back, notched the arrow and aimed. He let the arrow fly directly at John’s chest, it bounced off. David’s eyes widened in surprise; the arrow fell to the ground.
John just stared. “I thought as much.”
“What would’ve happened if your scales were not strong enough!”
“I would have been pierced and we’d have to use the first aid kit you so thoughtfully brought.”
David sighed, just at the right time. A red jet of flame shot right in front of his face. If he had inhaled, his throat would have been cooked medium-rare. Adam grinned.
“Now you’ve done it.” David pulled out another arrow and aimed. Adam dove, the arrow flew past the area he was.
David thought about how funny it would be if the wind blew the arrow right into Adam’s nostril. At that moment, a wind came and did exactly what he imagined. Then Adam sneezed. A jet of flame shot out and destroyed the arrow, the tip fell to the bare ground.
David gave the ground a confused search from his position. “Where’s Carl?”
John started to look, as did Adam. John raised his katana and waited for a surprise. A laugh sounded from above him and a whip shot out and wrapped around the sword, it was yanked out of John’s hands. John quickly pulled his axes out and attempted to fly at Carl, who was now mocking him for his lack of awareness, but was stopped from his attack by another shot of flame. He looked at the direction it came from and laughed. Adam was being spun around by the wind, blasting flames at David when he could. The four companions spent the next twenty-four hours dueling in the night sky.

A hovercopter flying over the nation, destination; Chicago:
Samuel looked into the electric cage; Jones was still out cold. He turned to the gun sitting nearby. It was one that had not been seen before by him. It had a couple tens of bullets which were sharply tipped. They had stopped for a few moments over a small building to test the firing power. According to their calculations, it had the power to shatter a diamond, which was apparently how Jones was planning to do it. Samuel looked back at the slumped figure in the cage, the half-fox look was pathetic in Samuel’s eyes. He would prefer a German shepherd.
He walked away from the cage, he had a problem. He suspected that there were more gang members, returning to his mistress would be a bad idea if he wasn’t certain that the gang was destroyed. But he had to return, he had to take the diamond back to the head base. He looked at the electronic map to see how much longer it would be before they arrived, still another half-hour at the most.
He sighed, he was extremely bored. He started to go back over the details of the previous night’s battle. He smiled at the look on the two gang member’s faces when they realized they had miscounted his troops. He had hidden some in a place unviewable by any window in the house. He only allowed those inside to see thirty, when there were truly forty. He grimaced, not that it mattered. They still managed to kill off six more. He remembered the looks of the two gang members, they were covered in fur. He shrugged, they probably stole some of Jones’ injection. But that still didn’t hide the looks on their faces, gasping for breath. He smiled at the fact that they would see him as merciful, killing them off when there was no more hope. He shivered at the glare the female gave him, it was cold. He quickly slit her throat, but the look still haunted him at random times.
He shivered again and walked back to the cage. He gasped at what he found. Nothing else could have surprised him more. The cage was empty, as was the gun. Samuel immediately pulled out his energy pistol, a new brand. He turned the power all the way up, Jones didn’t deserve to live this time.
He ran to the storage room, where the diamond was being held. He stopped, there were voices inside. A male’s voice, almost evil sounding. Jones, Samuel thought. Another voice, a light but weak sounding female’s voice. Samuel’s brow furrowed, there was no woman on board.
He slowly opened the door. There was Jones, just as he thought. He opened the door farther, his eyes widened. There was a cat’s figure inside the diamond. Samuel glanced around the room to see if there was a projector somewhere. No, he thought, but that shadow behind Jones is malevolent looking.
He paid attention to what was happening. Jones was aiming his gun at the diamond; even though his voice was evil sounding, he seemed as if he couldn’t decide what to do.
The female began to speak. Her voice was musical, carrying across the room, but no farther. It was also shaky and cattish. “Jones, you don’t want to do this. I can reverse what Brownsnout has done to you. I can make you into something else. Or, if you so desire, leave you as human. But don’t listen to he who shadows you!”
Jones began to speak again, but it wasn’t his voice. “Do it Jones. I didn’t give you this power just so you could turn it down later.” It showed on Jones’ face that he was very worried and confused, but he kept the gun pointed at the diamond.
Samuel was very confused. There were beings he couldn’t understand, both trying to gain control of a middle party. Samuel noticed that Jones was not in the middle though. He was doing the work of the shadow, a slave to it until he became a slave to the figure in the diamond. Samuel continued to watch, unwilling to take sides until he knew the full truth of both beings.
It was the cat’s turn to speak. “You will regret it greatly, Jones. You never wanted to be a killer, yet killing me will result in many deaths you don’t want on your hands.”
The spirit in Jones spoke again. “She’s bluffing, shoot her now before she takes you over!” Samuel noted that it was desperate sounding.
The cat spoke in a calm voice now, although her eyes had fear. “Jones, put down the gun.”
The evil sounding spirit did not speak through Jones this time. Samuel heard it in his head. Ah, so you see what is happening, good, good. Jones won’t listen to me, he wants to make his own choice, the fool! Take the gun! Destroy the diamond and I will make you ruler of this world! Samuel backed up, frightened. The spirit was now going after him and he had no protection whatsoever. Do it! Do it I say!
Samuel threw his gun into the room, hoping that someone would be able to help him. He was lucky, both Jones and the cat looked towards him. The cat’s eyes widened; Jones shook his head, still trying to recover. Samuel noticed the fox features were slowly leaving him, he also noticed Jones’ Sirius ring on the ground.
The coward leaves me. My power is too strong for him.
The cat stared into Samuel’s eyes, he couldn’t look away. She began to speak in his mind, but not to him. Brownsnout leave, you have lost.
I have not lost till all are tested! Samuel felt the spirit leave him.

The Arctic Circle:
All four of them were lying on the ground, gasping for breath. They felt as hot as the Sahara Desert. A deep voice sounded in their heads. I now have something you need to do. You must go to Quincy, Massachusetts, I shall give you the speed and strength you need to make it within six hours. Haste is needed now more than ever. I don’t like giving you an assignment with so little training, but it is necessary. When you get there, you shall find four cats. You must help them with the task they have. Be obedient and helpful, don’t start arguments! Other than that, I shall say no more. Soon I will be able to contact you to that distance, but I still need more power to do that. Farewell and may the Great One who rules this world watch over you.
The companions looked at each other, discomfort in their eyes. How would they like these other beings? And how would these beings react to them? Each one of them took flight, one after the other, David in the lead and John at the rear.

Quincy, Massachusetts, a small house in the suburbs:
Matt warily sat in the newly repaired chair, Jim sat down on the floor. Clara kept her arm near herself. Tom stayed next to her, ready to help when needed, also to give her the bucket, which he had recently cleaned out, in case she needed to vomit again.
Jim looked at his sister with concern, he looked over at Matt to see what his feelings were. He was too busy poking and prodding the chair, looking for any reason to doubt the power he had just seen. Jim rolled his eyes and turned back to Clara. He examined both Clara and Tom carefully. Clara was now wearing a tight outfit, all black. She also had a thick black cloak and tall soft looking boots. Tom on the other hand, was wearing very light and loose clothing, it was colored white. He noticed that they were completely half-cats, Tom resembled a lynx and Clara a panther, both had slitted eyes. He also noticed that Clara now had a variety of weapons on her. He noted that they were mostly things that an assassin would use. Tom on the other hand, only had a whip, a few throwing axes and a sword.
He said to them, “You two have a long story to tell and I can see you are very eager to tell it. So come on, spit it out, we’re both waiting.”
Clara smirked, “There’s not much to tell, really. The biggest story was our journey back, but we’re forbidden to talk of it.”
Tom decided to speak. “It’s obvious how it started. We woke up alone, saw our changes and stared at each other in shock. Then it gets a bit complicated.
“First, I hear a noise outside. I order Clara to go and ready our weapons.” Jim smiled, Tom ordering Clara around was funny to him. “I looked out the window and saw thirty armed men. They belonged to Sirius. When Clara came back, I told her to get explosives. We knew we were going to die.
“While she was gone, I arranged the furniture to protect the diamond easiest, but you saw that. I demanded that they leave, they refused, obviously. Then I allowed Clara to fire. Four in one shot, I believe she turned to me, while she was reloading and I firing my rifle, and said, ‘That’s a record.’” Clara smiled at him remembering, but who wouldn’t remember?
“We killed a few with our guns, none with the explosives. The explosives just injured a couple, but that didn’t stop them from their goal. If I were to compliment Sirius in any way, it would be that they’re determined.
“That was when they charged. We were surprised at this, but fortunately Clara quickly recovered. She slammed one in the head with a rifle and pulled out her daggers and I pulled out my whip.” He paused to take a breath.
Jim spoke up. “When Matt and I arrived, we saw thirty-six dead bodies. Yet you say there were only thirty men. How is that possible?”
Both Clara and Tom were surprised, they hadn’t count how many they killed. Clara answered this, “We only counted thirty, any more were hidden from view.” Jim noticed her voice was colder than usual, not by a large amount, just a noticeable amount.
Tom resumed speaking, by now Matt was thoroughly entranced. “We fought back-to-back, the best way we could. Unfortunately, Sirius was so determined to kill us, they did not honor any kind of hand-to-hand combat procedures and continued to fire at us from a distance, most of the bullets being aimed at Clara’s stomach, which is the reason for her vomiting.
“Then a blond man stepped up to us. Clara slit the throat of a man who was right in front of her and looked towards him, I was already looking. He pulled out a dagger and walked up to Clara, who was on her knees now from loss of blood. He had cold scorn in his eyes as she was gasping for breath, but she looked up and gave him a very cold look. He slit her throat and turned and did the same to me.” Jim took very careful note on how detailed Tom was making this.
“We met with Diamond-Eye, who is no fairy tale that you read in books.” He added the last part quickly, noting Jim’s surprised face. “She explained to us many things. Most of it was magic, but there were other things also. She told us who we were and what we’d become.” Tom looked to Jim. “You and Clara are direct descendants of someone named Haze. You come down the line of Necra’s daughter, she also had a son, but he is irrelevant. So naturally, Necra had some gifts to give you.” He pulled out a glass orb with green mist. “Breath this in before you go to sleep tonight.” He turned to Matt. “As for us, we are descendants of another, we are descendants of one called Snow Leopard. He has a gift for you.” He tossed Matt a glass orb with a yellow mist. “Same goes for you.”
At this point Clara started gasping. She looked at Tom frantically. Tom told her in a calm voice. “Not yet Clara, just a minute more.”
Jim also looked very frantic. “What’s happening?”
Tom gave him a cool look, “Just a minute and I will explain.” He pulled out a surgeon’s mask that looked as if it were made of a black diamond. He looked at his watch, Clara was still gasping. “Ah, there we go.” Saying this, Tom placed the mask on Clara’s face, slowly her gasping calmed. He took it off her and looked at his watch.
While he was putting it away he started to speak again. “The mask is full of something called ‘Fumes of Tenebraeth.’ What was told us by Diamond-Eye, was this. That because of what powers Clara has inherited, she must breath this every hour and all night. It will cause her heart to harden and become almost immune to emotion. Very strong emotion still will have a small impact however. The ‘Fumes’ are required, else her magic will overpower her. You see, she has a condition called melanism which causes her fur to become black. Not only this, but all her magic will be dark magic, which requires the ‘Fumes’ to be kept under control.
Matt looked at Tom, to Clara, and back to Tom again. “What about you?”
Tom winced, he hoped he wouldn’t have to answer this. “The melanism also makes Clara a darkness elemental. I am not an elemental, so I do not require any medication of any kind.”
Jim sighed, he did not know his sister any more. He shook his head. “What else was told?”
Clara gave a reply in a colder voice, much more noticeable, even Matt furrowed his brow at it. “Nothing, this was all the information she distributed before she was taken.” She pointed to the kitchen with her right hand. The diamond was gone.

A hovercopter, flying over Illinois, destination Chicago:
Jones sighed with relief as his snout, the last fox feature on his body, returned to normal. Samuel stared, the transformation was incredible. Jones looked up at Samuel, he picked up the pistol on the ground and tossed it to him. He then turned his attention to the diamond. He reached over and picked up the large gun on the floor. “I think we’ll be needing these.”
Jones was uncannily accurate about this. At that moment, three half-dogs rushed into the room, the pointed pistols at the two men. Samuel furrowed his brow, they looked familiar. A tall hooded and cloaked figure walked up behind them. From the sound of his steps, it seemed as if he was wearing heavy boots. “I did warn you, Jones. Now you will have to be my enemy.” The figures voice was calm, with an overshadowing of evil.
The cat in the diamond looked to him. “Brownsnout, they are no longer yours, nor do they want any part in this!”
Brownsnout’s head turned to her. “Shut up! You have already removed my most faithful servant through doubt and pity, these are mine!”
The cat shook her head. “None are yours, Brownsnout. They are their own, they may leave when they choose. They were not born to be what you have made them.”
Brownsnout growled this time. “And I suppose you have found some who are destined to be yours forever.”
The cat smiled, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. And they are ready to do war.”
He stepped back, Samuel felt the shock hit him like a wall. “How? I thought I killed them!”
“Of course you did, but my people have abilities yours do not. So it balances out in the end.”
Samuel frowned, he was utterly confused at their argument. “What’s going on?”
The cat in the diamond turned to him. “We are mortal enemies. You unfortunately served him when you went to destroy those two cats in Quincy. They are now down a life.”
“But nothing can come back, that’s not possible!” Samuel was never a religious man, the thought of an after-life would destroy every barrier he had put up. It would also mean he would have to choose sides in the end. He looked at one and then the other. He determined that if the choice was his, he would go with the cat.
Brownsnout was obviously extremely frustrated now. “Shoot them! Shoot them all!”
The three half-dogs complied, their pistols firing in random directions. Samuel ducked behind the diamond, Jones took action. He stepped onto the diamond and put the large gun over his knee. “Stop shooting now! Or I’ll break the gun!”
Brownsnout’s reply was to wave his hand. Another gun appeared, the exact same type as the one Jones was holding. “I cannot kill Diamond-Eye, nor can she kill me. This is why we have servants. Take this Arnold.” He handed the gun to the half-dog closest to him, Arnold took it eagerly. “Unfortunately for you Jones, you’re on the losing side.” Arnold aimed the gun and fired. Both Samuel and Jones immediately had a look of shock on their faces.
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