by Atlas Reborn
Part of a story in the works.
|Learning about what you are and how to control your powers takes quite some time. But when you have an ability that no one has mastered, it’s kind of hard to learn your limitations and boundaries without permanent scars. For me, it was just as painful to learn what I can and cannot do with my abilities, as well as Allison with her newfound power of transfiguration. Days on end we would practice, Natalee sitting in the corner watching us and giving us pointers, sometimes even joining our spars. Even for her size, she carries a massive amount of power which manifests simply because she wants it to. Fighting, as I found out, was more an art than just survival. The fluid motions, the prediction of movements and the graceful attacks of your weapon all pivot on dexterity and finesse. One particular spar was almost like a dance; we weaved in and out of each other, our attacks each being executed and deflected beautifully. Graceful dodging and almost ethereal movements of the arms to push aside attacks coming from both of us and Natalee’s hand movements falling into rhythm with the unseen music of the battle.
Day by day, my little teacher told me of the different creatures she created. Of centaurs, lizard-men, werewolves, daemons, witches, warlocks, mermen, more and more. She told me of their characteristics when they are walking around the day. We act human, but we gain our mythical figures prejudices. Vampires, of course, hate the light and usually don’t let their eyes be seen along with a slight pale complexion. Daemons, their eyes become beast like, teeth becoming jagged. Every one able to be seen, but also, all of it can be hidden with the powers they are given. Of course, knowing what they look like is only half of it. Knowing how to fight them is different. Each creature we fight has one common gift for their type: for demons, control over fire. For centaurs: calling up a bow and arrow at will. But training in these conditions was nothing compared to fighting the real thing, nothing.
One night we were going out for our weekly walk. We looked like a rather cute family really. Allison and I, hand in hand, Natalee running ahead of us, playing and carrying on with other people in the night. Watching her kind of made my sadness for her melt and allowed me to see her as the woman that had started and would end all of this. Allison had already learned to read my expressions, as well as talk in my head. She loved finishing sentences in my head rather than speaking them aloud. In the beginning I didn’t know why, but as she grew bolder, so did her thoughts. The park near where we lived is not the best park by any means. It’s the place for all the pot-smokers and drunks who seemed to have forgotten where the live to sleep on the benches for the night, or buy some for their ‘friend’. Usually they were by the old tree in the back of the library; a supplier would sit in the tree on the third branch and that would be considered his ‘open’ sign, letting all the buyers know that he has some. If he moved to the lower branches, it meant he was running out and the price as a lot higher. Tonight though, was a little different. The tree was empty, which meant that the ‘hard’ drugs were to be dealt tonight in the actual bathroom of the library. In the library, no one really expected it to happen, so, naturally, they flocked to there like a moth to a flame. Walking by, I noticed a small child; no more than 13 come out of the shadows for a brief second where horns were present. Letting my eyes unfocus, I peeled back the darkness the small child was hiding behind and noticed that he had created a bow and had nocked an arrow, aiming it at our Natalee. I whispered her name in her mind, letting it sink in that it was a warning, my shadows slowly forming around her in a small ring on the ground, her own quick hand signs and the shadow I was holding for her was pushed outward a good 2 feet. I told Allison about that, but she was already off, her form shimmering into the wolf she so cherished, going lightning fast with her power over speed, the centaur barely able to react before the foreleg is nearly ripped from underneath him, causing him to fall over. Natalee had cast a spell of holding and as Allison backed away, the centaur stiffened, everything but his neck, lungs, heart and head were frozen by Natalee. ’Who is your employer?’ Allison asked, an eerie calmness in her eyes. The centaur looked afraid and looked away, looking at the ground. ‘I… I can’t say… ‘ He stammered, obviously this was one of the clichéd ‘tell and you die’ things, so we both backed off, looking at him. Something isn’t right Matt… he’s telling the truth though... if he does say, he’s almost bound to lose his head. I nodded to her silently, taking it in and calculating what to do. Before I could even finish putting together a sentence, three arrows shot past my head, nearly perfect accuracy and the shot deliberately missed. ‘Let the centaur go. We want him back, that’s all. Unharmed as well.”
Turning around, there were 4 centaurs standing there, each with a nocked arrow and each pointing with deadly accuracy. The voice I heard tell me to stop was tracked not to the centaurs, but to the archer standing in the middle of them. The archer, alone, would have been a threat enough. Natalee told me of her need to rebuild the gods and goddesses, and she also told me that those were some of the more deadly myths we would have to face. Their abilities were beyond that of even imagination on a few of them. This one was no exception; the biggest giveaway on this character was probably the silver bow he carried. Not many, in fact, no one carries a silver bow and silver arrows for no good reason, so naturally, I thought it was Apollo. The arrows didn’t scare me much, but what did scare me was the fact that Apollo, the god of the sun, could easily turn on the light and fry Allison and I; not a thought I wanted right now. Natalee, though, seemed quite calm about it and nodded Apollo and gave her beautiful smile. ‘I’ll give him back. Unharmed, just let me give him a hug, ok?’ she said sweetly, her eyes just begging him to just give one tiny hug. After all, what is one tiny hug going to do? Would-be Apollo gave a nod and traced her with his bow, eyes focused and ready. Natalee walked over, slipping between us, each giving us a warning to be ready to fight. She bent down, muttering a few words and healing his leg closed, giving a faint giggle and finally helping up the captive. She walked him halfway to the other centaurs and hugged him tightly. It was sort of sweet, yet something was wrong. I felt the breeze almost inverse, beginning to pull on me and try to bring me to Natalee. The centaur seemed to enjoy the hug, picking her up off the ground and wrapping her up in a big bear hug. She let out a small giggle of happiness, and suddenly, the centaurs back legs went out. His legs became black, charred, slowly disintegrating into nothing more than ash blowing in the wind, all the way up to his forelegs, the fur crumbling off in what seems to be pieces. I looked at this in shock. The myth had just become real again and no one was the wiser. He looked exactly the same except, not mythological: he was human again. The human set her down and walked back over to his friends, whom were all staring and gawking at him. For a while, none of us knew what to do, new for both sides of this little ‘battle’. I felt anger starting to flow out of the would-be Apollo, an arrow being let loose at Natalee followed by a blur of others. I didn’t have enough time to get over to her or even to pull up my shadow but she just stood there, the arrows flying past her hair and ripping her clothes partially.