The third part of "A New Age". In normal format, this is one story.
|Quincy, Massachusetts, a small house in the suburbs:
Matt was in the guest room designed for him, he had no care for what the others were doing. He paced in confusion, he was attempting to sort everything out in his mind. He looked over to the yellow orb, the swirling mist was entrancing. He looked out the window, Clara and Tom were outside. He furrowed his eyebrows suspiciously. Looking at the time, 4:30, he walked over to watch. It was still about a half-hour before Clara had to take the ‘Fumes’ again.
He watched their actions, his brows tightened. They looked to be dancing. Then he noticed the glint of metal, Clara was holding a knife in her right hand. He looked at her face, expressionless and cold. He looked at Tom’s, the fur was soaked in sweat, he was biting his lip. It looked as if they were fighting. Matt raised his eyebrows, this would be interesting. It would be very interesting, seeing as they were currently fighting on the pavement of the drive-way, along with that, Clara’s left arm was bandaged from the wrist almost all the way to the shoulder. His brows tightened again in anger, Tom would definitely win this.
He continued to watch as Tom used his whip to back her up into the neighbor’s high, brick wall and his sword to parry her knife. Matt moved towards his shoes, still watching the fight. If worst comes to worst, he thought, I can jump out the window in order to stop him.
Clara’s next move intrigued him enough to stop, mostly in shock. She slid towards the shadows of the weeping willow that fell on the wall. She seemed to melt in and vanish. Matt noticed that Tom was equally surprised. He nearly laughed while Tom looked confusedly around. Clara dropped from the tree onto Tom, knocking his sword a distance away. Matt figured she had won, he nearly clapped. He stopped as Tom shot a stream of fire from his fist into Clara’s face, she fell off of him.
Matt dropped his shoes, he opened the window and pushed the screen out as silently as possible. It fell to the ground with a muffled thump, he paused to see if they heard it. They did, they both got up and walked over to him, Tom retrieved his sword first.
Clara looked him in the eye, her pupils tightened, but otherwise emotionless. “Yes? Is there a problem, Matt?”
He looked away, he couldn’t keep staring into the yellow eyes. “Is there a problem, you ask. Of course there’s a problem! You two are fighting when you have a bandaged arm. And he just shot fire in your face! Is there a problem, indeed!”
“Feel the fur, Matt. Tell me if even a whisker is singed.”
Matt hesitated, he didn’t know how to act. Tom was watching him closely, for a reason Matt could not figure out. Slowly he did as she said. All the fur on her face was unharmed, not even bent. “How?” Matt asked mystified.
“Healing charm, along with a protection charm.”
“Then why can’t you heal your arm?”
“That damage was done on a previous life; it has to heal on its own. But as you can see, we are perfectly safe in doing this.”
Matt muttered to himself, “Well how am I supposed to know.”
He thought he had said it unintelligibly, but Clara’s ears perked. “You’re not. We had not told you. But now we must get practice in, we have to retrieve the diamond and we’ll be completely useless until then.
At that moment four colored streaks slammed into the ground from the air. They caused the ground to crack where they stood. Matt and Tom were visibly shocked, Clara just started to gasp again.
The streaks formulated into 10-11 foot figures covered in scales, they also had wings. They looked reptilian. The ice-blue being walked up to Clara. “Er…We’re friends, there’s no need to hyperventilate…” He obviously didn’t know how to react to her condition.
Tom’s shock did not keep him from moving. He pulled the diamond mask from inside his shirt and placed it on Clara’s face. “Excuse her. Her condition is not a fault of yours. But who in the world are you?”
The ice-blue being answered quickly. “I am John, my companions are Carl, David, and Adam.” Pointing to the yellow, grayish, and red colored beings respectively. “We are here to help you retrieve an item.”
Still breathing through the mask, Clara spoke. “You are very welcome to join us.”
The front door burst open, Jim came rushing out. He froze in shock and fear.
John turned to him, his eyes widened in surprise. “Jim?”
A hovercopter, flying over Chicago:
Samuel shook in fear. He looked to the hole in the copter, air whooshing over it made hollow sounds. He looked to Jones, who had a gaping hole in his stomach and a very shocked look on his face. He watched as Jones collapsed to the floor, the large gun went spinning. He looked at Arnold, who had a cold air of joy about him as the blood created a pool to swallow Jones. Samuel grabbed his pistol and took aim. He fired two shots in two directions. The gun in Arnold’s hands caused an explosion that blew him backwards into the explosion of the gun on the floor. Arnold fell next to Jones, very dead.
Samuel shook harder at the fact that he was able to kill his fellow gang-member. He and Arnold had grown up together, but now Brownsnout had changed and corrupted him. Samuel fell to his knees with the unfairness of it all. Higher life-forms he didn’t believe in caused him to kill a trusted friend. He looked towards Diamond-Eye and asked a single word question. “Why?”
The glowing cat inside the diamond answered softly and weakly, weaker than she had before. “Because of the fall of angels and men.” She looked towards Brownsnout. “Because of those who followed Lucifer into the Abyss.” A look of hurt was in her eyes. “And now we must all live through it.”
Brownsnout snorted. “Why should you care, Diamond-Eye goddess of cats? Your people have nine lives!”
Diamond-Eye was looking towards him, but not at him. “There was a cost on my part for that to happen.”
“And that is?”
“Not for arrogant demigods to know. Now would you stop calling me a goddess? Only my people may call me that!”
Brownsnout’s eyes flared at the insult, fire was almost literally burning inside, visible even through the dark covering of the hood. Samuel ducked back behind the diamond and watched. He watched as Brownsnout created another of the large guns and aimed. He watched as Brownsnout’s servants fled from the storage room, Samuel shut his eyes. He heard the shot being fired, he heard the bullet clack to the floor.
He opened his eyes. Clacking to the floor? He looked over the diamond to see a very surprised demigod and a small laughing cat in a diamond. Diamond-Eye looked at Brownsnout still smiling. “Do you not remember what you previously said? We cannot kill each other, only our people can kill us.”
There was a thunk and a rattling as the hovercopter started to descend. Brownsnout pulled his hood tighter over his face and turned away. He spoke over his back to Samuel and Diamond-Eye. “You are lucky I am arriving at my palace. Otherwise your little friend behind your fortress would have had the same fate as the one who has been soaked in his own blood.”
Quincy, Massachusetts, a small house in the suburbs:
Jim looked at the four, tall, reptilian figures in almost complete fear. “How the heck did you know my name?”
The ice-blue figure laughed. “It’s me, John, the professor of astronomy at the college you went to. Yeah, I guess you would be kind of freaked out about now.” He said the last part while he was looking at himself. He lifted his head and pointed to the other three. “Now who are these? The black cat sounds familiar, but I can’t place a name. And who’s the cat beside her? Her lover? It doesn’t look as if you could get him away with a bulldozer!”
Jim sighed at John’s usual blunt manner and looked towards Tom and Clara. Tom turned his head to avoid Jim’s gaze and edged away from Clara slowly. Clara just gave him a straight and cool look while she held the mask to her face. Jim started the introductions. “The black one is my sister, Clara. The lynx is Tom, and the one frozen to his feet is Matt.”
John stepped back in surprise again. “Clara? I hardly recognized you with fur. How are you doing? Other than your medical condition, that is.”
Clara took the mask off her face and handed it to Tom. She turned to John, “I have no medical condition and I would greatly appreciate it if you did not mention my fur. I like it the way it is.” She deliberately put her left arm behind her back slowly.
John laughed. “Of course not, that’s why your arm is so tightly bandaged. We all have stories to tell. Shall we go inside and make known our adventures?”
Jim thought for a moment on how John and Clara would like each other. With Clara getting more cold and aggressive each hour, he wasn’t exactly sure if John’s sense of humor was the best thing to have around. He hesitantly followed the rest inside, chuckling a little when the four reptilians had to duck to enter.
The eight beings sat in the small living room. There was not enough sitting space, so the reptilians sat on the floor. John insisted that Clara sat next to Tom, who sat awkwardly not knowing how to sit next to her with everyone watching them. Matt sat in the chair again, mostly because Jim wanted to sit next to Clara. When everyone was settled down with drinks in their hands, they began to trade stories.
John explained what they were doing in the Arctic, and about Dracopoten training them secretly. He also explained about how they were stranded in the Arctic, how Samuel had left them there after seeing the meteor. He explained it all smiling, saying how wonderful it was to be back. The other three reptilians nodded in agreement, half-smiles on their faces too.
Matt was almost asleep when they had finished their story; John was a cheerful, but a very tiring speaker. He was awakened quickly when John decided to joke about Clara’s fur again. Everyone held their breath as Clara, face unchanging but tail twitching, looked towards him. Everyone burst out laughing when, with amazing accuracy, Clara threw her glass of milk up John’s nose. John sneezed very loudly, which for some reason resulted in frozen milk covering his face. This made everyone laugh even harder, even Clara smiled a small bit.
Matt wasn’t sure he cared about the new way Clara was. She used to have a cold laugh, now she barely had one at all. She almost always had some witty comment on something someone else did stupidly; now she kept very silent, observing everything with a cold eye. He still gave a wistful glance over at Clara and Tom, who seemed to be getting a better idea on how to sit next to Clara without drawing attention to himself.
After he had finally cleared away the milk, John spoke. “Now how did you two get-” He paused, searching for the right words. “The way you are?”
Tom started off; beginning at where they had captured the diamond and ending off where they had been joined by John and his companions. He left out everything that had been said to them by Diamond-Eye.
John looked confused. “Then why the heck are you still here? You should be dead.”
Clara gave him a cool look. “Do you not want us here?”
John smiled, “After having milk shoved up my nose, I’m more inclined to say yes.” Everyone chuckled, except Clara who smirked.
“Now we need to get the diamond, but first we need a way to get there and a night’s sleep.” Clara stated calmly.
Carl spoke, “We can fly you guys there, we’re strong enough.”
“Good, then let us sleep.”
Chicago, a mansion:
When Brownsnout had left, Samuel turned to Diamond-Eye. “I have to ask you, why do you stay in a diamond while he gets to walk around?”
She sighed, she looked at the hole in the ceiling and answered. “He did not restrict himself to any object because he came for different reasons. He came to build an empire, we came to restore our world.
“It was recently attacked by a fallen demigoddess. She trapped the world in a dark mist, one that keeps all who are not her people under a sleep-like state and drains their magic. It also drains the lives of my people.
“Brownsnout came because he did not believe there was hope. We came because we had heard that there was one who could remove the darkness. We are still searching with the people we have chosen.”
Samuel looked around. “It doesn’t look like your people are here.”
Diamond-Eye smirked. “That’s because they are probably enjoying their new powers at their house.” She paused thoughtfully. “I can’t really say that their powers are new, rather I should say that they were hidden.”
Samuel gave a confused look. “Hidden? Did they always have them?”
“They had traces of them, but never the full amount or abilities.”
“So they were human without being human?”
“That is correct.”
Samuel gave up trying to comprehend. He readied his pistol and looked towards the door, knowing Brownsnout would be back sometime soon. He took a breath and walked out of the room slowly. He looked around outside, no one. He walked over to a window, his eyes widened in fear and he ran back to the storage room. He shut and secured the door using the anti-theft system inside. Turning to Diamond-Eye he promptly stated, “Brownsnout was right when he said his ‘palace.’” They’re everywhere out there.”
Diamond-Eye cocked her head. “Who?”
“His people. It seems as if all of Sirius now belong to his empire.”
Diamond-Eye grimaced. “May God who rules all protect us till help comes.” She looked Samuel directly in the eye. “I can give you some power, but I can’t turn you into one of my people.” Samuel nodded his head in reply. Diamond-Eye opened her mouth wide and blew on Samuel, even through the diamond.
Samuel felt something begin to course through his veins. It wasn’t powerful enough to overpower him, but it was strong enough.
Diamond-Eye stopped exhaling. “I have given you a weak life-force and an extra life. It was the best I could do seeing as I am trying to store up to leave the diamond briefly.”
Samuel frowned. “Couldn’t you do it now?”
“No, it was one of the restrictions I placed on myself. I need power to keep myself out of the diamond, unless the diamond is destroyed while I am out of it. In which case I shall be able to stay out without any effort. But if I am inside when it is destroyed, you will know that I am no longer around. On Earth, that is.” She smiled. Samuel had no idea why nor would he ask.
A banging started at the door, shouting followed quickly. Samuel quickly asked, “How do I use this power you gave?”
“Because of your lack of the complete powers of one of my people, I made it so you only have to imagine something for it to happen. You only have a small range, but your energy should regenerate quickly so that you can use a spell fast and continually. Other than that, be careful because if you do run out of energy you will lose your extra life.”
Samuel nodded and ran behind the diamond. The door opened mechanically, not through force. Samuel furrowed his brow, that should not have happened. He aimed his pistol for the first thing to come through.
A sleek, black tail swung in, twitching and flicking in and out. Samuel waited for the rest of the creature. He heard yelling very clearly now. He listed carefully, there were also gun shots. Samuel turned to Diamond-Eye confused.
She smiled, “I also slowed down time here in Chicago. Sorry I didn’t tell you, but I was busy trying to explain everything.”
A man shrieked outside. A figure resembling a pug dog flew into the room, something resembling claw marks on his chest. The owner of the black tail backed into the room, Samuel aimed his pistol. But he stopped when he saw that the figure was not a dog.
The figure was a black cat, a female black cat with long black hair. She was wearing a black cloak with the hood down. She was about five foot eight. She dropped a small pack on the floor, it fell open side facing Samuel. It contained electronic and non-electronic lock-picks. She was reloading her sniper rifle. Samuel gasped, she was the woman who was sniping from behind the couch. She was part of an enemy gang. Samuel shook his head, this was not a time to worry about whose gang he was a part of, this was a time of war, mental, physical, and spiritual, Samuel thought reluctantly.
The black cat knelt on one knee and aimed back out of the room. She fired once and stood up satisfied. Swinging the sniper over her shoulder, she turned around; Samuel saw her face and the mask on her face. Her face showed that she was a panther, it was also very cold, the same cold look given to him when he cut her throat. The mask on her face was made of an almost invisible material. He looked at what else she was wearing.
She was wearing tight black clothes except on her left arm where she had a long bandage from her wrist almost to her shoulder. She had a number of medieval aged weapons which would belong to an assassin. She also had potion bottles on her belt where there wasn’t any kind of projectile weapon. Samuel silently gulped, he didn’t want to be facing her now if she knew what she was doing. She looked at him, she had heard the gasp. She quickly aimed her sniper at him. He shouted out, the only thing he could do along with duck behind the diamond. “Don’t shoot! I’m on your side!”
“On my side? Is that why you slit my throat so mercilessly? Or my companion’s?”
“I was only obeying orders, now everything has changed!”
Clara slowly put her rifle up. “But Diamond-Eye, he is the enemy, is he not?”
Diamond-Eye spoke in a commanding tone. “No, he’s not anymore. He had a change of heart when he saw Jones.” She gestured towards the soaking body. Clara’s face did not change to show any emotion.
Samuel spoke, “Are you the only one here? Or are there others?”
Clara turned to him. “The others are outside, guarding the entrance. I am here to make sure that Diamond-Eye was still here. Now I am going back out to make sure that we aren’t attacked while my companions are coming back in.”
She turned and ran back out of the store room. Samuel followed, there were a couple of dead half-dogs along the way. He looked out the door which Clara was guarding. There were seven figures standing watch, each with a different shape, there were dead bodies all around them. Clara whistled, apparently a signal for the others because they started to run back to the door. Clara knelt to one knee again and looked through her scope towards the mansion. The other seven got in right when Samuel noticed a glint of metal in a bush a distance away from the house, an area Clara was not watching. He shouted out to warn her, but whatever was in the bushes shot first.
Clara fell back clutching her chest, the sniper hit his target. Samuel got to the door before the others, took aim and fired into the bushes. There was a yell and a dog-person fell onto the pavement.
He turned back to look at Clara, a person resembling a jaguar was holding her in his arms. Samuel heard him whispering for her not to go. The half-cat resembling a lynx used the computers to close the door and rushed over to her. Clara was gasping slowly now, blood starting to soak around the wound.
An eleven foot figure walked out carrying the diamond. He spoke, “I have Diamond-Eye, now where do I put her?”
Diamond-Eye saw Clara on the ground. “Take me there.” The reptilian complied, placing Diamond-Eye down carefully.
Diamond-Eye just looked at Clara. Clara started to calm down, the jaguar was holding her hand tightly. He looked up to Diamond-Eye, “Is she going to live?”
Diamond-Eye looked at him sadly, “I am afraid not. You did not get me here in time, otherwise I would have been able to save her, but now the best thing to do is wait till she gets back.”
Tom sighed, Clara had died again. He looked over to her limp body, she had been placed on one of the copter’s beds. He turned and left the room, she would come out when she was ready.
John and Jim had gotten the hovercopter to fly, they were on their way back to Quincy. Matt was talking with Samuel and Adam; Carl and David were just staring off into space. Diamond-Eye was not visible at the moment, probably off talking with Clara again.
Tom leaned on the control board and looked out the window. There was nothing interesting to see, just darkness; it was about midnight by Tom’s calculation. He looked at the rear-screen, which showed those who were driving what was behind them. He grimaced, poked Jim on the shoulder and pointed towards the screen.
There was a fleet of hovercopters following them. Brownsnout and another very dark figure was very visible even through the lead copter’s tinted window.
John looked at the screen also, but his reaction was different, he grinned. Turning to the other reptilians he said, “Let’s go get them.”
Tom furrowed his brow, “What?”
John turned to him. “We are going to go hold them off until Clara wakes up again. Between she and I, we can figure something out. Until then, we are going to make use of these wings and fly out after them.”
“What about me? I have intelligence to make plans!” Tom sounded offended.
John gave him a straight look. “You can hardly get your eyes off her, let alone your mind. I think I’ll stick with my decision and go out and meet them.”
“Something tells me that you know more than you’re saying.”
John muttered to himself, but it was very easily heard by Tom’s cat ears. “Curse the observance of cats, you can’t keep secrets from them.” He spoke up. “Yes, Dracopoten said that they might be purposely targeting her. This is a recent message, he has built up enough power to contact us. That dark figure standing next to Brownsnout is the cause of all this chaos. She apparently found her way into this world and has made a ‘pact’ with Brownsnout. That is what Dracopoten assumes. So that is the reason for all this.”
“Why would they be targeting her?”
John glanced over at where Clara was still motionless and said in a very low whisper. “They believe that she is the one who can stop the darkness. If they kill her, then that dark figure can’t be stopped for another hundred years, by that time the race of cats might be destroyed. She is not allowed to know this quite yet.”
Tom nodded, mostly in shock while trying to process the information. The loud noise of air blowing past a hole interrupted his thoughts. He looked just when Carl had thrown himself from the copter with David close behind. Adam nodded at John and leapt out also. John looked at Tom, saluted towards him, and followed his companions.