The Void: Beginning

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The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:07 pm

"Wake up, Kol."

The voice came from no where, as it always did. No matter what I could have done to try to drown it out, it would have done no good, for the voice spoke to me from all around. If I were a mental health patient, I would have considered it a voice in my head, but the logical side of me knew otherwise. They were speaking to me directly, something they rarely did, rarely enough to make me sit up in my bed, wipe the sleep from my eyes, and pay attention. I drew my legs toward my chest and rested my chin on them. Clad in nothing but the thin sheet over my waist, the cold morning area nipped at my skin. 'Must've left the window open last night,' I thought to myself.

"Another has been chosen," the voice continued. "Go to her." Instantly my mind was flooded with images and sounds. I saw flashes of a girl, young, with green eyes and freckles. I saw her house, and where she went to school. I saw family and friends, and smelled freshly roasted coffee. The sounds of music played in the background of my vision, a classical piano piece by Vivaldi. I could hear her voice, her laugh, the way she joked around with her friends. I saw the date on the refrigerator door and the time on the microwave display, both burned into memory whether I liked it or not. The vision was as real as if I were her, as if the Void had pulled the memories from her head, copied them, and sent them directly into my brain. This had only happened once before, so I was still trying to get used to it. When that connection was terminated, it left me feeling cold and disoriented.

The voice said nothing more, but I had my instructions. I was somewhat concerned, as no one had been chosen in over seven years, and the last, well it didn't go well for them. I tried to push those memories further from my mind as I stood and got dressed. I went downstairs and put the kettle on, then quickly showered, used the restroom, and prepared myself for the trip. The girl lived in Florida, literally on the other side of the planet from my home in Dresden, Germany. It wouldn't take me long to get there, but I would have to bring enough with me to be somewhat comfortable.

After having my morning cup of tea, I grabbed my backpack and gym bag from the closet and filled with some essential items, including identification, clothing, a large sum of American currency, some other random items that gave me a sense of home, and of course, my Void pool. The pool was not large, barely larger than my hand with my fingers outstretched, and was contained in what was basically a bowl with a sealed lid. That one went with me everywhere, as it was my connection to the Founders.

When I had everything I needed, I went back downstairs and stood in my living room. Everything was locked up and the hexes were in place. God have mercy on the poor soul who tried to rob my home while I was gone. I closed my eyes and began to shape the Void around me. I called to mind the images the Founders had shown me and focused in on one in particular: the city park. I didn't have an address... that would have been too convenient, but the park, I knew, was close. It'd be a simple matter of tracking her down from there. As the dark energy began to swirl, creeping up my body like a snake made out of rain clouds, I took one last look at my home.

Then, there was only darkness.

Instantly I was transported to my destination, appearing in the park as if I had been standing there the entire time. It was dark, of course, with the time difference, but that didn't bother me. It only made my entry into the area more discreet. Hoisting my belongings onto my shoulder, I began my search, starting with finding a hotel to stay in while I located the mysterious girl.

That morning proved to be particularly productive, my search yielding fruitful results. It was a Saturday morning, and my hope that she would be out and about had been made into a reality. Shopping with her family, it seemed. I watched from afar, making sure to keep out of sight as I was not yet ready to approach her. I knew I did not have the luxury of waiting too long, but I had a few days. The weekend came and went; I watched her go to school on Monday, and decided it was the time to act.

I visited her school several times, influencing the staff into giving me personal information that they would have otherwise denied me. I did not hide myself from her then, but made sure that she saw me only in passing, thinking it better that she grew accustomed to my face and my figure so I wasn't completely unknown to her when we had our first conversation. After nearly a week of this, I prepared for our introductory encounter.

Time had slipped through my fingers like water. On the ninth day I realized that I was not alone in my search. Someone, or something, else was looking for her, and they were close. I was planning on waiting for Tuesday or Wednesday when there would be more time to speak to her privately, but Monday had to do. Her family would be gone for the bulk of the day, well into the evening hours, so I stepped through the Void and entered her house. No matter how many times I moved in that short distance, I never took for granted how useful such an ability was, as no one around had any idea that I had just invaded the home of their neighbor.

I looked around, having a few hours before she would be home. I checked out her bedroom, going through her closet, drawers, and bathroom to get an idea of who I was going to be dealing with. Sure it may have sounded creepy, but creepy was kind of my thing, being a Mage of the Void and all. I then moved to the other rooms, looking at pictures and listening to her music. The rumble in my belly was the only thing that diverted me from my course at the time, reminding me that I had not yet eaten that day. Figuring I didn't have much to lose, I moved to the kitchen and fixed myself something to eat. Much to my dismay, the only thing I could find that seemed tasty was a bowl of cereal. No need to eat vegetables for nourishment when one is immortal, so I tended to eat things that would have been bad for me otherwise.

Halfway through the bowl, I heard the familiar sound of keys jingling and a deadbolt turning. She was home.

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:54 pm

"Oh, c'mon! Farkas... you're here to help not stand by while a Dragur Scorge annhiliates me.." I murmured softly with a sigh. It was alright, I had to stop playing anyway. It was Sunday and I had school early the next morning, if I kept playing then I'd have a hard time getting up and it would ruin my whole day. That was not good, either, I had a full schedule; school, then piano practice until five, then I could go home. Only plus side to a busy day was I would have the whole house to myself until late tomorrow night. Peace and quiet was hard to come by, so the break was welcome.

I put my game away,  and slid into bed. It didn't take me long to fall asleep, the darkness lulling me into a peaceful dreamless state. Well, it was dreamless for a while. Some time during the night I had woken up only to find myself hovering a few feet above my bed. Glancing around I saw a figure in my open doorway, which was odd because I always slept with it closed. He was bathed in shadows, swirling, moving almost independently. It startled me at first, but the more I looked at him, I felt a sense of safety envelope me, and I no longer felt ill at ease.

"Your time has come. You have been chosen." I knew the figure in front of me was the one that spoke, but it sounded as if the words were coming from all around me. "Tomorrow evening you will meet someone, they will have the Mark of the Void, you are to go with them." The way the cloaked shadow spoke made me shiver, it was eerie, yet familiar. The shadows moved again into a symbol I could only assume was the Mark he spoke of. "If you do not, if you choose to ignore your path, Death will fall upon you, and those around you."

The next morning I woke up in my bed, door closed, nothing disturbed or out of place. 'I have got to stop playing video games before bed. They make for weird dreams.' And with that, I got ready for my day as I would any other. I took a shower, brushed my teeth...

When I went to get dressed I nearly had a heart attack. Pulling my pants up, I glanced at my arm and thought I saw a spider on the inside of my wrist. Startled, I fell backwards onto my bed, heart beating wildly, squirming around trying to find the spider only to realize my stupidity. It wasn't a spider. It was a tattoo. The same symbol I had dreamed about was now on my wrist in swirling black ink. That was a problem. I was a pale girl, if anyone saw that they'd freak out and ask questions I didn't have the answers to. So instead of short sleeves, I opted for a shirt that was a little too long that covered most of my hands. Okay, that would be fine.

---

Halfway home from my piano lesson that afternoon I felt the irresistible urge to get there as fast as I could without running like a lunatic. I don't know why, but my normal trek home didn't feel as safe as it used to. I couldn't run because I had to pee, so I just sped up my walking pace, keeping an eye out for... I didn't know what. As expected, when I got home there were no cars in the driveway, but an odd, foul smell permeated the air. Maybe someone hit an animal and it fell into a sewer grate and died?  It was.. off-putting.

Quickly unlocking my door, I tossed my bag onto the couch and skipped up the stairs to my bathroom. When I had finished, I marched back downstairs.to find a well deserved afternoon snack. Again, an overwhelming feeling of dread fell on top of me like a blanket, and I stopped at the bottom step. There was someone in my kitchen. I distinctly heard the sound of metal spoon on glass bowl, but that was impossible. I was the only one home. Warily I reached behind the couch and grabbed the long, heavy metal bat we kept there, inching towards the kitchen. My heart pounded furiously in my chest, the urge to just cut and run growing with every step.

Stepping into the kitchen, I saw a man sitting at the table with his back to me. Comparing figures, he could easily overpower me, but I had a bat, and while I was terrified to use it, I was certain I'd be surprised enough if he came at me to lash out with it. I stopped with enough distance between us to give myself a few seconds to escape, should I need to, the bat held tightly in my sweating hands.

"Who are you, and how did you get into my house?"

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 pm

I let the girl walk through her house, believing that she was home alone so she could de-stress for a moment before I flipped her life completely upside-down. She deserved a little of that for the hell I was preparing to put her through. I could hear her very clearly as she descended the stairs; she must have heard me clink the bowl, which caused her to pause. There was no way for me to know that she had grabbed a weapon, but I wasn't afraid. There wasn't a thing she could do to hurt me, no matter how hard she tried. Not yet, anyway.

"You know, for having a full family unit, you'd think you'd have a better stock of food. It was either cereal or celery, and I can't stand celery." I hated the stuff in life. Bitter and stringy, it had always left a bad taste in my mouth, both metaphorically and literally. "C'mon in, i'm not here to hurt you or rob you."

My words probably weren't that convincing, even if they were genuine. She was a scared teenage girl; it was a miracle that she didn't run away screaming the moment she saw me. "You'll learn who I am soon enough, and how I got in soon after. Right now what you need to know is that you're in danger, and so is your family. If you want to live... if you want them to live... you need to come with me." I took my last bite of cereal, giving her enough time to speak. I cut her off, however, by slurping up the last bit of my milk very loudly. I wasn't really in the mood for an argument, after all.

I stood from my chair and turned to face her. She was a pretty girl, with marvelous eyes and fair skin. Beautiful, in fact, but I couldn't think about that at the moment. "You notice the air smells bad? Like something rotting? That's the smell of bad things coming here. They haven't found you yet, but they will. Soon. I'd say within the next few hours at least. They won't give you a chance like I did. They will eat you. Literally tear you up and eat you." I could tell that she didn't believe me by the look in her eyes and the way she held that bat, so tightly her knuckles had turned white. I decided then to try to put that first fear to bed.

"Look," I commanded as I slid my sleeve up over my elbow, revealing the very same tattoo she had on her own wrist. "While you were sleeping, you had a dream about a... thing... that stood in front of you telling you that you were chosen. You were told that you'd meet someone and you would need to follow that person no matter what, because lives were at stake. I'm that someone... and I had that very same dream years ago. Only it's not a dream, it's a vision. So you can come with me and save yourself and your parents, or you can stay here and everyone will die."

"You can bring the bat with you if it makes you feel better."

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:05 pm

When he turned around i nearly dropped my bat. He was thw guy from school! The cute one my friends and i joked about, commented on, and nearly fawned over. Had the look of a bad boy, tall and mysterious. Just the thing out of a romance novel; and here he was in my house asking me to go with him? I had to be dreaming again, this type of thing just didn't happen to me. Not me.

With the bat held so tightly in my hands, and how heavy it was, my arms began to tremble as he spoke. So it wasn't a dream?  But it couldn't be real. I stole a glance at my new tattoo, my gaze slowly drifting to his matching one.

If you ignore your path Death with fall upon you, and those around you.

There's no way he could have known what that thing had said to me. He had the Mark of the Void, or whatever, and the smell was just getting worse. But to leave my family? At least he was giving me a choice. Not much of one, I'll admit, either go with him or die with my family, but it was a choice nonetheless.

"If I go with you whatever is making that swful smell will go, too? I'll go if it means that my family is safe." I lowered the bat, but still had a nice grip on it just in case he tried to move too quickly towards me. Before I would leave with him, I had to be assured that they would be safe. Once I got that I would go without question. I wasn't stupid, in kidnapping scenarios you just lasted longer if you did as you were told.

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:24 pm

Surprising to me, she agreed to come with me, on the condition that her family be kept safe from the creatures that searched for her. "They'll follow your scent. Once you're out of here, they'll become confused and go back to their master, if they have one. They should be fine. Just in case i'll leave them a present, but i'm betting they'll just leave." I crossed the room and cleaned up after myself, cleaning up my bowl and tucking my chair underneath the table.

"But more importantly than that, you're going to discover what your future holds, and how you'll be responsible for not just keeping your family safe, but for keeping safe the future of your species. But we'll go over that later." I moved by her, keeping one eye on her bat, and entered the living room where we had a little more room.

"Okay, so we don't take cars or planes anymore. That shit's in the past. Well... I don't anyway. You might. We'll see. But for now, lucky you, you get to travel by Rift." Lifting my right index finger, I began to draw lines in the air. To others, it might have seemed like i was just being weird, but I knew the girl could see them. Black lines, black as coal and completely void of light, hanging in the air. When I finished, I turned back and looked at her.

"By the way, my name is Kol. This would be a lot easier if I knew your name too, but for now... step through the door please." Just as my words left my mouth, the lines I had drawn had moved and grown, transforming into a tear in time space. It, too, was void of light and made no sound, but it was clearly visible to those Marked.

"Wait!" I exclaimed loudly. "You might want to grab your things first. I don't have any clothes or anything for you to wear. So grab your shit and come back down. Then we'll leave. But don't take too long. We've not a lot of time left." I wasn't worried about her escaping or making any phone calls; I had already sealed everything off. It was just her and me.

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:53 am

"Oh, I... I figured you already knew. It's Cameron." I didn't say it in a sarcastic tone, I genuinely thought he'd know what my name was, considering he'd been following me for a week. Maybe longer, who knew. Moving around the rip in my living room air space, brow furrowed, I placed the bat back in its place. While it would make me feel secure, my family needed it. Besides, kidnap victims don't usually get away with bringing their own weapons.

Up in my room I emptied the duffle bag I usually used for recitals that were held far away and overnight, then I began to fill it with essentials. My hairbrush, toothbrush, some warm clothes, some cool clothes. I had no idea where he was taking me, or what the temperature would be so it was best to be prepared. I also made sure to stuff my phone in the bag as well, with a pair of headphones. Even if I wasn't allowed to make phone calls, I had music and pictures, I didn't want to leave everything behind.

"You'd think I'd be more excited." I murmured to myself.  "This is every angsty teens dream.. being whisked away by a handsome stranger with magical abilities, leaving behind the monotony of school, college, and a desk job..." But then why wasn't I more excited? Why did this whole experience fill me with anxiety, and hopelessness?

When I was finished I slung the bag of my shoulder, gazed at my room one last time swallowing the lump of sadness building inside me, and headed back down the stairs. "Ok. I'm ready."

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:53 pm

I really wished to be able to read minds at the time, but I couldn't. I would have tried at least to reassure her that I wasn't kidnapping her or holding her against her will. But I couldn't, so I didn't. "Step right this way then," I said, gesturing toward the portal. The smell of rotten eggs filled the air. They knew where we were and they were very close.

I didn't have much of a choice, and neither of us had the luxury of time. Her hesitation drove me to the point of insanity, so I made the choice for her and pushed her through, then jumped through myself. Instantly we were back at my hotel, drab and stale but clean enough. I was grateful to be away from the smell. Immediately I went to the corner of the room and started to gather my things.

"If you have any ID on you, we need to get rid of it. You won't be using it from here on out."

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:40 pm

The sudden push startled me, and I braced myself to slam into a solid black wall, but I did not. instead I passed through, and since I had not banked on just walking through it, I stumbled and nearly fell flat on my face. The surroundings were unfamiliar, and the nasty rotting smell was gone; I wasn't at my house anymore, not on the same block, or even in the same part of the city.

"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore..." I breathed, holding my duffle bag close to me. I watched him gather his things, which led me to assume we were not going to be staying here for much longer than a few minutes.

"Oh, okay.. I only have my school ID and licence." It wasn't as if either of them had a tracking device on them; I didn't understand why I couldn't keep them. School ID was understandable, I was almost ready to graduate anyway, so I'd be getting rid of it eventually, but my identity wasn't going to change, was it? I was still going to be Cameron, wasn't I? Being kidnapped was one thing, but changing who I was as a person made my anxiety level skyrocket.

Clutching my duffel bag even tighter I almost wished I had kept the bat. It at least provided me with a modicum of security, even if it was an illusion.

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm

"You'll still be Cameron, just... didn't last name." I started to consider exactly what was happening to her, uprooting her from her home, her family, her entire life. It was sad. I remember how much I hurt having to leave mine. I couldn't begin to imagine how my fiance must have felt, much less my parents. I paused my packing and turned, seeing Cameron standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, not just out of embarrassment for falling, but because it was probably all she could do to hold back the tears.

"Look," I began, slowly stepping toward the frightened teenager. "I know this is hard, and it's a hell of a lot to take in, but it gets better. You don't want your family involved in any of this. It's sad, for sure, but it's better this way. Imagine trying to tell your family that you're running off with an older... much older man. There'd be yelling, and police, and anger. At least this way you spare them the anger. If you want, I can erase your history. It'll be like they never knew you existed."

It was a better offer than I ever had. I just had to leave. My old trainer didn't let me say goodbye, or offer to erase my presence. They lamented my loss, but that was then. It was over with and this was the present.

"You may not believe me, but i'm sorry. I don't want to be insensitive, but we have to move quickly. The portal closes behind me immediately but leaves a residual energy behind. The beasts that tracked you will pick up on that. They can't follow you, but they'll start looking again. We have to get out of the area before they pick up the scent again. You understand?"

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:26 pm

Erase my existance? I felt a wave of nausea roll over me, and I inhaled sharply. They would never know I had existed? That they raised me, and I had been a part of them? I opened my mouth to decline his offer, but hesitated. If he erased me then they wouldn't mourn me, they wouldn't send out a search party, or pleas on the news. They wouldn't live without closure of what happened to me fore the rest of their lives. They could be happy.

"Do it, please. Make them forget me." I could hear my own voice shaking as I spoke, trying hard not to cry. If I was being selfish I wouldn't have done it, but I couldn't be. They were my parents, my friends, I couldn't disrupt so many lives because of my selfishness. It hurt me more to be forgotten, it was a terrible pain, but I would not be responsible for so many others sadness.

I felt a tear slide down my cheek, hot against my skin, but I merely wiped it away and steeled my resolve. I had to do this to keep them safe, it was the only way. "I understand. I'm ready to leave."

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Machine Man on Sat May 05, 2018 6:27 pm

"Alright, i will." With haste I finished gathering the rest of my things and shouldered my bags. On a whim, I set one of them down and reached inside the backpack, withdrawing a spring-loaded knife. She was obviously still nervous about everything, and I didn't blame her at all, and without the security of the bat she clutched before, she was likely feeling more anxious than ever. It was a no-brainer for me when I started, but she wasn't the same. I held out my hand and offered Cameron the blade.

"Here, you can have this. It's no baseball bat, but it's easier to hide and easier to use. Just... please don't knife me. I'm not your enemy, and I'll explain why later." After she made her decision, I took everything back in hand and looped my arm around her back, placing my palm flat against her spine. "Alright, time to go. Just step through and we'll be at your new home."

"Well... home for now anyway. Sometimes we move. I'll explain everything once we get there and we get some food in you. It's going to be okay."

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Re: The Void: Beginning

Post by Danry on Sat May 05, 2018 8:31 pm

New home? I felt my heart sink, and dread flooded me, but I couldn't turn back now. Everyone I have ever known and loved wouldn't remember me anymore, and there wasn't anywhere else for me to go. Tucking the knife into my pocket I stepped forward without a word, without resistance. Where ever we ended up was where I would be from now on, I supposed.

Braced this time, I just walked straight through, not stumbling or falling, but I didn't recognize where we were. Of course I didnt, why would I? Holding my bag close, I stepped aside and waited for Kol. There were so many questions, so much I didn't know. He insisted that I wasn't a hostage, I wasn't being kidnapped, but 'if you don't leave, you and your family will surely perish' didn't really give me much of a choice.

The pain was unbelievable, and I wanted nothing more than to let myself collapse into a mess of tears and sorrow, but until I had answers I couldn't do that. Kol didn't seem to be too bad of a guy, but I couldn't help putting some of the blame on him. Who was he to show up in my life and uproot everything I'd ever known? What gave him the right to insert himself so boldly and give me impossible choices? Sure, I could have easily told him to shove it, and made him leave my house, but the alternative was death. It wasn't just mine, either. What other choice could I have made?

Feeling tears building, I bit my lip hard, the pain cutting through the fury of agony that threatened to swallow me. I needed answers. "Where are we?"

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