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One

By Brittany Billingsley

"We have to get out of here, Nolan," a woman whispered, her fear evident as she clutched her newborn to her chest.

"I know, Aldora. I know," the man replied. Sweat glistened like crystalline beads upon his grime-covered flesh. The couple’s young son, terrified, clung to his father’s leg. "Hush!" Nolan uttered urgently to them as voices trailed down from above.

"Are you sure they came this way?" asked a voice. Nolan shuddered at the mere sound of controlled madness that voice projected.

"Positive, my Lord."

"It’s hard to mistake those filthy, scum-ridden – "

"How many of them?" the oily voice interrupted.

"Four, two adults and two kids," one of the officers replied.

"Easy kill," stated another.

Nolan bristled at the insults and threats directed toward his family. His wife gripped his upper arm as she felt him tense. Her emerald eyes flashed at her husband, angered by the harsh words but warning him to feel nothing.

"Enough talk. Split up and find them. Capture the adults – they’ll make good work slaves."

"And the children, my Lord?"

"Kill them."

"But sir! The prophecies state no man or alien alike will bring your downfall. You’re practically invincible!"

"I don’t care! Find them and kill them!"

"Yes, my Lord."

The voices and footfalls faded. Aldora looked up at her husband.

"The one giving orders. That was Sheridan wasn’t it?"

"Aye, Aldora, it was."

"Daddy," the little boy tugged on the tattered clothes his father wore. "Daddy, ‘m scared." The boy’s blue eyes stared up at his parents. His lower lip trembled as tears threatened to spill from them.

Nolan forced a smile on his dry and cracked lips and ran a hand through his son’s tousled brown hair.

"Don’t worry, Carlin. Everything will be all right," he told the boy. He suddenly looked up as the voices approached once again, closer this time. The runaways pressed themselves into the shadows like they were being absorbed.

"Find them?"

"No, my Lord."

"Damn it. Have you checked down there?"

"N-no, my Lord."

"And why not?" the foul voice inquired.

"B-because no one could possibly contort their body enough to get down there – "

"You fool! These aren’t normal people! They could manipulate your mind into thinking that they were just part of the wall or lose machinery if they wanted to. Of, course they can contort their bodies enough to get down there. Tear apart the metal and plaster with your bare hands if need be! I want these four found! NOW!"

A chorus of "Yes, sir!" swept through the hall as the troops split up in search of the runaways like raptors searching for their prey.

"This is it," Nolan stated as he disengaged himself from his wife and son.

"What? What are you doing? Where are you going?" Aldora asked worriedly.

"Look, you know as well as I there is no way we even have a chance of escape if we stay together like this. You take the children and I’ll act as a decoy. I’ll meet you at the docking bay as soon as possible."

"No! We won’t leave you here. You’ll surely be killed!"

"You know the way to the hangar. Most likely, the others are waiting there. The ship is prepped and is ready for our quick getaway. Now go!"

"Nolan…"

Taking on a more comforting tone, the man continued, "I told you we would be together forever and I meant it. Even if I die, I will always be with you." He held his family close once more before tearfully turning and bolting up towards the troops that were quickly approaching.

"Nolan!" Aldora cried but her voice was lost over the growing sounds of battle. Carlin looked up at his fretful mother.

"What’s Daddy doin’?" the small boy asked.

"Buying us time," the woman muttered as she took her son’s hand, held the baby tighter, and ran as fast as she could to the docking bay.

The neared the hangar, dodging troops here and there. Before long, the docking bay was in sight. Aldora’s hopes grew but were immediately extinguished by an agonizing pain in her chest. She fell, momentarily forgetting the son and daughter who fell with her.

"Mother? Mother what’s wrong?" The frantic boy’s cries were blocked out by the pain wracking the young woman’s mind and body.

"He’s dying," she thought. "Sheridan’s killing him! Oh, Nolan, why did you have to go against him outright?" her mind cried out for her husband’s diminishing life. And then…it was over. The pain was gone and left a harrowing emptiness within her soul. Aldora looked up to see Carlin, his tear-stained cheeks flushed and eyes wide. He helped her up as footfalls rushed up from behind.

"Hurry, Carlin, we must get to the ship. Now! Run!"

The small group did just that. Once again, hope seized them, but once again it was quickly smothered, this time by an enemy’s rifle. The laser sliced through Aldora’s back, searing the flesh. She fell once again with a guttural cry.

"No! Mother!" Carlin cried out and dropped next to his fallen mother. "No…"

"Carlin…" Aldora gasped. She could feel the blood gurgling in her lungs and up her throat. The darkness tugged at her consciousness, promising a blissful peace.

"Carlin…take your sister…Run…as fast as…you can…to the hangar."

"But I – I don’t – " Carlin stammered, taking his crying sister in his small arms.

"You know…how to…get there…Now go…Carlin…you and your sister…are…only…hope…"

"Mother? No! Don’t leave!" the small boy pleaded, "Please?"

Tears streamed down the pale face until he felt a doll-sized hand touch his face and he looked down at the newborn he held in his small arms. Large, knowing, emerald green eyes stared back at him.

"Protect me," those eyes said.

He was shaken from his reverie by the pursuers’ approaching voices and steps. Taking one last look at his mother lying in a pool of her own scarlet blood, he headed for the docking bay.

His feet pounded on the metal flooring. The double burden his feet carried slowed them down to a mere trot. Suddenly, the silver bulk of a man-made falcon loomed up ahead. People milled around it until they saw the two small figures making their ways towards them.

"Murrough! Get down here! It’s the kids!" a scarred man called up the ramp to his captain.

Out of the ship clambered a man. His brown hair brushed lightly against his broad shoulders. Kneeling, he wrapped his massive arms around Carlin and his sister.

"Murrough…Father…Mother…they’re – "

"I know," the velveteen reply came. Standing, with the two in his arms, he issued orders to his crew.

"Get the engines revved! We gotta go! Now!" Turning to the docking bay mechanic, he added, "The Valora Tessa and my party were never here. You have never heard or seen either, and – "

"And this conversation never took place. Gotcha," she replied as she gave him the ‘thumbs-up.’

Murrough smiled. "I owe ya one."

"You owe me more than one. Now get out of here before they realize that something screwy’s been going on in Docking Bay 12."

"Thanks," the pilot added over his shoulder as he walked up the ramp. He felt Carlin’s hand clench the fatigues covering his shoulder as the little boy felt himself being swallowed alive by the metallic bird.

Carlin clung to his little sister and Murrough. Fear tore through his soul like black claws. He wanted to cry again, but the tears refused to fall.

"Everything will be all right now. They’re not going to get us. We’re safe," Murrough murmured as he rocked the children gently in his arms.

"No, we’re not," whispered the little boy. Before the renegade pilot could ask what the child meant, he was interrupted by his second-in-command.

"Sir!"

"What?"

"I think you should come see this…"

Placing the children in the nearest empty sleeping compartment, Murrough made his way to the bridge of the Valora Tessa.

"What is it?" he asked as he glanced at one of the glowing view screens.

"Enemy ships are approaching."

"Increase power to the energy shields. Gunners – to your stations. Be on your toes, everyone!" Murrough ordered.

As the crew prepared for the quickly approaching battle, Carlin held his younger sister close. He looked down into her eyes and brushed his fingers through the tuft of fiery red hair, carefully avoiding the soft spot on the crown of the baby’s head.

"You gotta make it y’know?" the slurred words came from his pouting lips. "I’ll p’tect you Rhia…" he said as he hugged the other child close in a warm embrace before snugly wrapping her once again in the tattered blanket and placing her gently on the bed. "Now you stay ‘ere, ‘kay?" Carlin told her as he got up and left the small room.

Back at the bridge, Murrough continued to issue orders. Hatred, fear, and anxiety were only a few of the emotions seeping from every soul on board the Valora Tessa.

"Sir! We’re receiving a transmission!"

"From who?"

"An enemy ship, sir!"

"Why would they want to contact us?"

"I dunno, sir. Do you want me to open the channel?"

"Yes, but keep all shields up. You gunners keep your eyes pealed," he commanded as he slammed his palm down on the button that opened the frequency. A pale, shadowed face stared back at him. Eyes as red as blood glinted and a sadistic smile spread across the vile features. Murrough felt an involuntary shudder race down his spine.

"Sheridan…"

"Enemy ship – you are terribly outnumbered. I believe it would be in your best interests to surrender and prepare to be boarded."

"Like Hell," commented one member of the crew.

"Then I feel we have no choice," the man on the view screen replied before he broke the connection.

"Get ready," Murrough muttered, "This is gonna be bad." Just then, the deck of the Valora Tessa lurched violently as laser fire tore through the tarnished hull. What happened next was a whirlwind of confusion.

Carlin fell to the metal floor as laser blasts from all around shook the ship around him. He could practically feel the ship falling to pieces. He shakily stood up and concentrated on keeping his equilibrium balanced as he watched the pursuers slowly cut through the inner hull. He closed his cerulean blue eyes and reached out to the minds of the enemies. If he could just persuade one… Suddenly he broke the connection and dove for cover.

The lasers lanced out at everything that moved. Bodies fell in every direction, falling into pools of endless crimson. The lasers ricocheted off everything metal, toppling even more bodies. Almost as soon as the attack started, it was over.

"Come on," one of the troops ordered to the others as he walked through the quickly dissolving smoke.

"Filthy scum," uttered a troop coming in after the first. "If I had gotten to choose how these wretches would die, I would have ripped – "

"Shut that hole in your face," scorned another.

"Hey, did you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"I thought…" the rookie trailed off as he slowly walked through the carnage littering the deck. He walked to one of the scorched metal doors. "I think it came from in here."

"Well then, let’s blow it down," said another as he cocked his rather large rifle.

"No!"

A chorus of "WHAT?" answered him.

"It sounded like a child…" he muttered as he slowly opened the door. The young man’s eyes searched the room and came to rest on the squirming bundle on the bed. He warily walked over to it and gently picked it up. One of his comrades came over to him.

"What is it?"

Looking up at them he lifted up the bundle and showed him what it was.

"A baby…"

* * 15 years later * *

A girl walked through one of the wilder bars of Golgii Eurakyrot IV, sidestepping and glaring at any of the drunk and drugged murderers, space pirates, raiders, and miscellaneous soldiers. She did come to a stop when one of them, balancing on the back legs of his stool, smacked her behind. Arching an eyebrow and smiling somewhat menacingly, she quickly kicked his chair out from under him. With him in his drunken stupor, the act kept him on the ground long enough for her to reach the bar without another incident.

"Rhiannon! What you be doin’ ‘ere, girl?" asked a harsh feminine voice. Rhiannon smiled and looked up at the bartender. The cat-woman’s ears twitched and her fur gleamed in the flashing lights from the dance floor.

"Y’know y’shouldn’t be ‘ere. Y’know I could b’fired ‘or ‘is! What dya want?"

"You know very well, Maeve, that they won’t fire you for letting in a minor. After all, you’re the only employee here that can take down as many drunken men as you want and not even get scratched."

"Nah…they ‘eep me ‘ere ‘cause th’owner likes ya," Maeve replied.

Rhiannon laughed. "That may be," she answered, "But he isn’t my type."

"Bartender!"

"Wait a minute, will ye?" the feline called down the bar. "’Course not! Tha’s why we all ‘ate him."

Once again, Rhiannon laughed. "That’s not why I’m here though."

"Oh…? And wassa ya ‘ere fo’?"

"Bartender!"

"You know the dream I’ve been having?"

"Bartender!"

"Shut up! Ye, I do."

"Well, I’ve been having it again."

"Bartender!"

"Oh?"

"Yeah. And it’s been getting more…explicit I guess."

"Bartender!"

"Can’t y’all shut up? I’m a busy!"
Rhiannon let lose a very unladylike snort.

"Wha wassa you sayin’ deary?"

"I’ve been saying that I’ve been having that dream again and now the images have been coming more accurately, more, detailed."

"Isa see."

"What do you think it means, Maeve?" the girl asked.

"Well, Isa knows what itsa might mean."

"Oh?"

"Aye. Itsa might be memories yous been forgettin’."

"What do you mean?"

"Wellsa, deary, yous and Isa knows that y’ain’t my girly. So maybe, yous be rememberin’ ya past."

"My past…" the red head trailed off. Her thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a glass shattering near her head. She looked up at the sound of men guffawing drunkenly and stood up. Maeve grabbed her arm, stopping the teen.

"The owner likes ya b’not ‘at much. Go home. Isa take care of ‘ese two."

Rhiannon nodded and left the bar. She walked into the dark night and nonchalantly joined a group of laughing teens not much older than she. At times she envied such joy but quickly smothered the feeling. Staying alive was top priority on a planet-colony like this one. Therefore, she kept her distance from the group, hoping to not be noticed.

Abruptly, something clicked in the back of Rhiannon’s mind and she stopped. Looking up she found herself in front of a darkened ally. The twin moons and random other planet-colonies stared down at her from above. Brushing away any uncertainties, she entered the deserted ally. Towards the middle, she stopped.

"Alright," she stated to no one. "Why am I – " but before she could finish, she was cut off as something or someone tackled her from behind. "This can’t be good," she thought as she fell with a grunt. Her head connected with the cold pavement. Stars and spots danced before her eyes before she shook her head, clearing it of the unwanted distractions.

She tried to move her arms but realized in dismay that her wrists were enclosed in a man’s massive fists. Rhiannon growled in the back of her throat. She hated being held down. An animalistic grin spread across her face. "This is going to be fun," she thought.

Snapping her head back she struck the man’s forehead, the pain and shock of the speed of the attack sending him reeling backward. Finding herself free, Rhiannon jumped up and readied herself for another assault. She took in the man’s appearance in a heartbeat. He was stocky, to say the least, and by the way he was holding his head and wobbling on his feet, he was most likely drunk out of his mind. Rhiannon smiled at her mild advantage.

The man charged toward her, lunging for her waist. With lightning speed, her leg lashed out and impacted with his jaw. There was a sickening crack and once again the man fell. He stood up yet again, this time with a drawn blade. The weapon gleamed with deadly, raw power as the moonlight reflected off of the twisting metal.

"Stubborn idiot," Rhiannon muttered bitterly as she stepped back until she felt her back press up against the wall of one of the buildings lining the secluded ally. Her eyes stared back into the hollow, maddened gray of her assailant’s. "Come and get me."

The blade man, in his drunken haze, lunged once again at her, bringing his arm back to slice her throat. Before he could bring his hand down in the killing stroke, her hand shot out and stopped his movement. His dazed eyes widened and stared into the clear, green depths of the girl’s. They widened even more as the red head dug her fingers and nails into his meaty fists, drawing thick blood. Before he could jump away Rhiannon fan-kicked her leg. Using her momentum, she sent her attacker over her shoulder to land in a heap on the asphalt, unconscious. Putting the blade in a pocket, Rhiannon dusted herself off and sauntered away.

Walking once again along the lighted street, the teen headed for the apartment she shared with Maeve. Finally reaching the door to the messy lodging, she was startled by the feeling of fingers caressing the back of her neck and head. Whirling around as she drew her newfound blade, she saw nothing and no one. Rhiannon shivered violently as she placed the blade back in its hiding place. Opening the apartment door, the girl dismissed the uneasiness that lingered.

* * * * * *

Fire licked at the ebony darkness like the tongues of mad beasts. Pools of blood spilled by thousands – perhaps millions – as well as corpses littered the earth Rhiannon stood upon. Legions of soldiers marched past her through the gore. Something unknown prompted her to look up. There, high upon a platform overlooking the carnage, stood a black-robed man. Turning his cloaked form to face her, he stretched out his gloved hand for her to see.

There, in his palm lay a still-beating heart. Rhiannon let out a terrified and appalled scream. More to her horror, the cloaked man let loose a round of maniacal laughter. Another dismayed scream ripped from her lips.

All of a sudden, Rhiannon awoke. One hand flew to her head and the other dropped to cover her heart as she sat up in the ratty cot she lay on. Her breath came in quick pants as she tried with little success to calm herself.

Maeve walked in and started at her adoptive-daughter’s obviously distressed state. Marching gracefully over to the pallet the girl lay on, she sat on her haunches.

"Is yous okay, girly?" the cat-woman asked in her best maternal tone.

"I don’t know…"

Maeve hopped smoothly up onto the bed. Running clawed hands through the matted mess of red hair, she murmured words of comfort she herself didn’t believe to the anxious girl.

* * * * * *

A young man, dressed in black, stalked down the boarding ramp of a rather old ship that just landed. He thanked all the deities that he knew of for getting them through yet another trip in the out-dated space ship. The haul was weak and the it sometimes seemed that the only thing holding it all together was engine tape, spit, and, at times, the energy shields.

As the youth started to reach the bottom of the ramp, he called over his shoulder, "Make sure everything is pre-prepped for a quick getaway. We may need one off of this hell hole."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," came the muffled reply from within the ship.

As the young man reached the bottom of the ramp and started walking away, another appeared in the entrance of the ship. "Hey Carlin! Wait up!" Stopping and turning, Carlin did indeed wait for his friend. He watched as his sandy-haired best friend bounded energetically down the creaky, metal ramp as he pulled on his tattered flight jacket.

"Gavin…I thought you were going to stay onboard so you could sleep," Carlin mentioned.

"Yeah, well, I figured that if you were gonna be roamin’ this place, might as well have a second pair of eyes to help you find whatever you’re looking for."

"You just don’t want to be taking orders from Murrough all day."

"Well, that too," Gavin replied with a smile. Reluctantly, Carlin smiled as well. He sometimes envied his friend’s ability to brighten up pretty much anyone’s bad moods with a simple comment or a flash of his smile. "Hey, uh," Gavin uttered. "Do you really think that this is the right place? That she’ll be here?"

Frowning, Carlin answered deliberately, "It has to be to right place. I…feel something about this place. She has to be here…"
Gavin nodded solemnly as they fell silent and continued to walk into the city.

* * * * * *

The stars stared down at the streets that were flooded by fluorescent lights and bar-hoppers. Trashy music blared once again from the speakers in Maeve’s bar. Rhiannon gazed down into the glass of crimson liquor that sat in front of her. Her dreams had been getting so bad that she was to the point where she was becoming afraid to sleep. All of a sudden, there was a loud crash as a table fell and the glasses on top of it shattered into pieces. Looking up, she saw two young men surrounded by a quickly growing group of angry humans and aliens alike. Standing up, Rhiannon walked toward the forming mob.

The red head, followed closely by Maeve, jumped between a wolf-like alien and the blond-haired youth. "Hey, hey, hey!" Maeve shouted over the music and the raised voices of the crowd. "Theresa not to besa no fightin’ ‘ere! Whatsa be all the trouble?"

"These two!" roared the wolf-man in his booming voice.

"What could these two possibly have done? They practically just walked in!" Rhiannon answered as she stood on her tiptoes to look him in his red eyes. Glaring, she continued in an ice cold tone, "Why don’t you and your friends go get a drink? Cool your heads a bit…"

Amazingly, the mob quieted and went off to buy drinks, flooding Maeve and her two assistants with orders. Rhiannon sighed tiredly and turned to the two youths. Finally getting a good look at them, she wondered why anyone would dare to pick a fight with them. The boy she stood in front of amazed her with his looks. He definitely wasn’t from the Golgii colony clusters. His hazel eyes glittered with mirth and mischief.

The other, however, made her want to back away. His blue eyes were dark and shadowed. They practically resonated power. Looking harder into them, she saw ancient sorrow and pain written all over his soul.

"Why did you do that?" asked the black-clad one harshly.

"I did it because it needed to be done. That, and the fact that I don’t think you two did anything wrong back there. Alcohol does things to people’s minds."

The two youths smiled at the last comment and the blue-eyed stranger stepped forward. "I’m known as Carlin," he said bringing a hand up to his chest. Gesturing to the other, he pronounced, "This is my friend and colleague, Gavin."

Rhiannon nodded her acknowledgement to them but didn’t offer her name in return. Noting this, Carlin continued, "What you did back there was very compassionate indeed. I insist that we repay you for your kindness."

"The only way to repay me," Rhiannon remarked as she walked up to him, "is to not get in anyone else’s way." Turning on her heal, she walked away.

"Hey wait!"

Turning back to face Gavin she asked, "Yes?"

"W-what’s your name?"

Hesitantly, the girl replied, "I have no real name, I don’t think. But if you insist on knowing that as much as you do on repaying me, call me ‘Rhiannon.’ Everyone else here does." Turning once again, Rhiannon walked away, leaving the two youths in the darkened street.

Smiling, Carlin rolled the familiar name off his tongue, "Rhiannon."

* * * * * *

Rhiannon return to the messy apartment she called ‘home’ only a few minutes later. There she found Maeve worriedly pacing the rooms, wringing her clawed hands. The cat-woman turned to Rhiannon, her fretful expression never leaving her feline face.

"Who weresa those ‘oys? Ah the bar dis night?"

"I don’t know who they were," Rhiannon told her caretaker. "All I know is their names and that they seem relatively harmless."

"Isa thinks you betta watch your backs, girly," Maeve stated in her strange dialect. "Isa dun like those ‘oys. They gives Isa bad feelings."

"Don’t worry about it. It’s probably just the adrenaline you didn’t get to use tonight catching up with your mind. It’s been a long day; let’s go to bed," Rhiannon said, forcing a smile onto her face so as to calm the cat-woman. She didn’t tell her elder however that she had the same feelings about the two young men she had met that night.

* * * * * *

The next day was a bright one. The light from the Golgii System’s sun shown through the windows as Rhiannon walked around the dingy apartment, preparing things for the day. Taking a key and the money she might need for anything she walked quietly out of the apartment. On her way out, she grabbed the twisted, metal blade. Before she even walked a meter, a hand dropped onto her shoulder.

Rhiannon whipped around and drew the silver blade from her jacket. She was met with a pair of midnight blue eyes. She sighed, "Carlin," as she put the weapon back from where she had taken it. The older boy simply nodded. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Rhiannon continued, "You shouldn’t sneak up on someone like that. This isn’t the best of neighborhoods, if you haven’t noticed, and most of the people living here would just as easily have blown your head off for a stunt like that."

"I am truly sorry," Carlin guaranteed, "But I thought you knew I was there."

"How could I possibly have known you were there," she asked, "If I was facing the other way and didn’t hear you approach?"

Carlin shrugged after a moment and Rhiannon shook her head. "This guy is weird," she thought to herself.

"Do you mind showing me around? I’d really like to see the city. I’ve been in space so long…" Carlin trailed off as he walked up to the red head as she started to walk away.

"Why would I want to do something like that?"

"I don’t know. To be nice maybe?"

"Hey, I was nice last night. Sabbath days are my days. No one else’s."

"Sabbath days?"

"You seriously are clueless about this place, aren’t you?" Rhiannon asked as she abruptly stopped to face him.

"Yes, I am. That’s why I want you to show me around. Teach me about this place, the people – "

"Fine! I will. Come on," she voiced as she grabbed his arm and dragged him away.

* * * * * *

The day passed quickly as they hopped from store to store and wandered the streets. Rhiannon pointed out the government buildings and random shop owners she knew. The red head told Carlin how, years before, Maeve found her laying on the cat-woman’s door step and took her in as her own. She told about how Maeve had cared for her through the years and taught her how to defend herself. Carlin kept silent throughout the conversation, never offering up information about himself.
At twilight, the two came to one of the richer areas of the city. Rhiannon led Carlin through the doors of one of the larger buildings. Inside, the youth found himself surrounded by lush greenery. The perfume of colorful flowers that carpeted the landscape filled the air.

"Come on," Rhiannon told him, "There’s more. We just have to get higher."

Following her lead, they walked up a wood-and-rope ladder. After awhile, they came to a bridge made of the same naturalistic set-up. When they pulled themselves up, Carlin realized that they were overlooking not just a simple greenhouse, but a miniature tropical forest. Creatures hidden in the trees hooted and squawked. Vines and lichen crawled up metallic walls that seemed drastically out of place in such a refuge.

Turning to his fiery-haired companion, he said, awestruck, "It’s beautiful. This place…so full of life…Why’d you bring me here?" Rhiannon shrugged.
"I don’t know. I just thought that it was a nice place to visit. Plus I like to come here. It feels…safe to me…" the girl replied as she walked toward the edge of the bridge. Instinctively, Carlin reached for the rope railing expecting the bridge to tip. When it proved stable, he let his white-knuckle grip loosen.

"You know, I’ve been the one doing the most of the talking," Rhiannon realized. "You know everything up to now about me, but I know nothing about you. What’s even weirder," she continued, "Is that…I trust you."

"That’s because you have a gift," Carlin replied softly.

"A gift?" Rhiannon asked turning around sharply.

"Yes, a gift. Perhaps you and maybe others see it as a curse, but it’s not. I can assure you of that. You see things before they happen. You heal quickly. You dream about things that aren’t your memories or perhaps they’re memories that you’ve just forgotten. You knew me as soon as you saw me and I knew you. Our meeting wasn’t chance; it was meant to happen," he declared quickly as he took her hand in his.

"W-what are you talking about?" Rhiannon asked nervously.

"Can’t you see, Rhiannon? Don’t you remember? Don’t you remember who you are?"

Her eyes searched his and she started to shake. Visions long forgotten flashed before her eyes. "I…I don’t know…"

"Our mother and father were Seers. All of those in our bloodline were. Can’t you remember them?" the youth asked as tears formed in his eyes. How could this happen? He finally found her and she couldn’t remember.

Rhiannon tried to pull away from the young man she suddenly felt terrified of. How did he know this? How could he know she was his sister? None of it made sense to her…and yet, it did. All of it made sense. Images of a smiling man and woman passed before her mind’s eye. Phantom arms held her in a comforting embrace. Voices she couldn’t name murmured in her ears.

"That night, so long ago Rhia. Do you remember that? When they were after us at the base? Father and Mother sacrificed their lives for us. The soldiers…the minions of Sheridan…they attacked the ship…they killed everyone…everyone except you and me and Murrough. I told one of them with my mind to protect you, to take you away and they did.

"All this time I’ve been looking for you, Rhia. I swore on our parents’ souls that I would find you. Now, here we are. Lost and found. Only…you can’t remember any of it. I guess I should have expected it, since you were so little. My Gods Rhia…I’ve finally found you!" Carlin cried out as he collapsed and kneeled in front of the awed girl. He cried in her hands from the emotional release of at last locating his younger sibling.

Rhiannon didn’t know what to do. From her eyes, hot tears fell. Her mind spun in endless circles as she tried to get a hold of what had just transpired. She looked down at the brown-haired man who knelt at her feet, crying. She pulled a hand gently from his grasp and ran it through his hair not knowing what else to do.

Carlin looked up at her, his eyes pleading, he whispered, "Come with me."

That snapped Rhiannon out of her trance. "What?"

The young man visibly winced at her harsh tone. "I asked you to come with me. Oh, Rhiannon, please. We have so much to talk about. Things to do. We can teach you how to use your powers –"

"No!"

"No?" he asked standing up quickly, his blue eyes confused.

"No! I don’t want anything to do with you. I don’t want anything to do with these ‘Seer’ people. I have a life and someone who loves me and I will not leave her here!"

"But…but Rhia – "

"Stop calling me that! I don’t know you! I never did!"

"But you were meant to learn who you are and what you can do! Prophesized that– "

"All I know of the Seers is the bloodshed I see in my dreams. I will have nothing to do with it!"

"More people might die if you don’t help us! Please Rhiannon…I beseech you!"

"Well don’t!" she cried hoarsely as she ran from him. Memories of the blood and visions the black-cloaked man followed her. "Why am I so afraid of him now? I liked him. I trusted him," her heart pondered as her mind yearned for nothing than to get home and let Maeve tell her that nothing was wrong and everything was fine. She blatantly ignored the feeling of dread as she burst through the door of the apartment and, sobbing, sank down to the floor against it. "Maeve!" she called out into the apartment.

No answer came. She tried again and once more. Still no answer came.

"Something’s not right," Rhiannon thought as she stood up. She searched the rooms and found no trace of her. Her heart sped up and her breath came in ragged pants as she raced down the small hallway that led to her care-takers room. Throwing open the door, she called out the cat-woman’s name and sank to the floor.

Maeve lay sprawled, face down in a sticky pool of her own blood. Painful sobs ripped from Rhiannon’s throat as she rocked back against the door frame and wrapped her arms around herself. Burning tears streamed down her flushed face. She was startled when she heard a gasp from the hallway. Swiveling around, she looked up and Gavin’s bewildered face. Her eyes widened in maddened shock just as Carlin walked up next to him. His eyes soon traveled down to the body laying lifeless on the floor and his jaw dropped.

Standing up shakily, Rhiannon stalked the short distance to them. Taking a shuddering breath, she screamed at them. All she could acknowledge of her actions seconds before she passed out were words blaming them for her caretaker’s death.

Gavin and Carlin stared at each other, then turned back to look down at the two female figures laying on the floor. One beyond help and the other just moments ago hysterical.

* * * * * *

Voices drifted through Rhiannon’s mind as consciousness once again laid claim over her senses. It took awhile for her to realize that they belonged to Carlin and Gavin.

"You heard her yourself, Gavin."

"I know…but – "

"But nothing! It’s her! She’s more powerful than either you or I. Her emotions practically seep out of her every pore!"

"That doesn’t mean that she’s ready to take her on her role in this."

"Well, then, when will she?"

"Weeks…months…years!"

"We don’t have that much time Gavin! You know that as well as I. Sheridan’s on the move again and he won’t stop his reign of death and destruction till every last one of our kind is gone. She’s the only hope we have left!"

Rhiannon opened her eyes at Carlin’s last comment. She found herself engulfed in unfamiliar surroundings. Or were they familiar? Had she been here before? No, she shook her head, there was no way she could have been here before…right? She turned as she heard movement. She saw a woman she hadn’t known was there had just walked to the exit of the room.

"Will you two keep it down? You just woke her up with your gabbing and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she gets angry with you. Now hush up!" With that said, the woman turned and walked back to the slightly stunned teenager. "Oh, don’t worry dear. Those two will stay quiet now and let you sleep. I always have to be tellin’ them to keep their big mouths shut, and they do for a time, but then it’s right back up there yellin’ and agruin.’ I’m surprised that their such good friends and all but I guess all that quarreling must be normal for them. Gavin and Carlin have been friends for almost forever. Both their families died in the Holocaust so they need each other. When they get along and aren’t frettin’ over something, they go together like two peas in a pod, those to do," said the gray-haired woman at an amazing speed. Looking up with her violet eyes at the red head in front of her on the cot, she smiled sweetly, realizing that she probably spoke too fast for the girl to really get a hold on what she said. Calmer, she continued, "Hello, dear. My name’s Aislin. I’m the medical doctor aboard this here ship."

Smiling, Rhiannon was grateful that the woman finally caught on that she had no idea what the speeder said. Rhiannon nodded to the older woman and replied, "I see, Aislin. May I ask what ship I’m on, how I got here, and where we’re going?" As an afterthought, she concluded, "By the way, my name’s Rhiannon and I’m very pleased to meet you."

Aislin chuckled and answered, "Well, how do you do miss Rhiannon. This here ship is the Valora Tessa. You probably don’t remember it, being your last visit was so very long time ago. Carlin and Gavin brought you here. You were unconscious and not the least bit delirious either. I was surprised that you weren’t ill deary. Where we’re going is Althea Aileen."

"Althea Aileen? Where’s that? I’ve never heard of it before," Rhiannon wondered aloud.

"Well, of course not deary! It’s got to be one of the most well known secrets in the galaxy! I can’t tell you where it is; I myself don’t know how to get there. We just have to trust that we’ll get there safely. This here ship is quite old and we’re all a little worried that it’ll fall apart any day now…"

As Aislin continued, Rhiannon learned to tune the talkative medic out. Instead she concentrated on breathing, she knew at least that was real. All of a sudden, she was ripped from her cat nap by a loud tenor voice.

"So you’re awake," Gavin said as he opened the door to Rhiannon’s room. He was followed closely by Carlin, who acted as his friend’s shadow.

"Aye, she’s awake. No thanks to you two," Aislin scolded as she crossed the room.

"Now listen here, Lin…" Gavin started as he was openly nagged by the older woman. Carlin swiftly ducked away from the other two and walked to his sister.

"Rhiannon, I – " he started. However, she turned her head so as not to look at him. Alarmed, he took her hand gently and whispered, "Rhia…?" The girl snatched her hand away from him and crossed her arms over her chest.
Carlin sighed sadly. "Oh, Rhia…I’m so, so sorry…"

* * * * * *

The Valora Tessa landed on Althea Aileen in the early evening. Oceans of brown grass stretched out as far as the eye could see. A warm breeze whipped around the members of the crew as they unloaded the ship and headed away toward the mob of people who came to greet the weary travelers and welcome them home.

Rhiannon stepped slowly out of the ship letting her eyes adjust from the gray artificial lighting in the ship to the amber hues of sunlight on the strange planet. She could feel the eyes of the people boring into her skin. Her eyes darted from face to face. Some regarded her with curiosity. Others seemed unsure about her. Yet more flashed her smiles and called out "Hello." The whole time Rhiannon tried to appear indifferent.

* * * * * *

Rhiannon sat on the cold, stone floor in front of what Carlin had called the Council of Elders. They had been interrogating her for the past two hours and she was beginning to become annoyed with the gray-haired geezers. She sighed and continued to answer question after question for what seemed like an eternity. Then, one of the men stood up and said the magic words.

"You may go now. We’ve found out what we needed to. My granddaughter will escort you to your rooms."

Rhiannon stood up stiffly, dusted herself off, and left the room, following the short, blond girl out of the massive doors, which shut behind them.

The old man who had dismissed the girl sat down with an exhausted sigh. "Well, I can’t help but say it. I’m glad that’s over."

"I agree. Anymore inquiries and I think she would’ve lashed out at us with whatever she could get her hands on."

"Well, what are we going to do?"

"Follow through with the prophecy?"

"But of course. What else would we do?"

"She’s not ready. She has no idea what kind of power she has."

"We must train her. She has to know what to do when the time comes."

"Sheridan will be after her until then," commented a voice from the shadows. The Elders looked up searching the room for the owner of the sad intonation.

Standing up, one bald man called out, "Come out Carlin. How long have you been standing there, boy?"

The brown-haired youth materialized out of thin air and looked up at them with his haunted blue eyes. "I was here long enough to know that my sister may be in danger. She needs training. That’s obvious. Her emotions are too obvious, her actions too easy to predict. One thing I know for certain, though," he muttered, "She is the One."

The Elders looked around at each other than back to the boy. One of them stood and replied, "Aye, my boy. She is."

* * * * * *

An eye snapped open and darted around the room. After awhile, its twin joined it in the darkness. The owner of the two irises stood and walked deliberately across the room. He came to the colossal window that domed out from his quarters. He stared out at the electric lights and their mechanical flickering of the city below. The stars were dulled by technology’s parasitical glow on the planet, Amara Deirdre. His glare intensified as he remembered the reason for his unrest.

"I must find this…One," he thought darkly as he pressed a skeletal hand against the glass. "I must find this One that is prophesized to bring an end to all that I’ve created and all I’ve destroyed."

Raking his exposed, claw-like nails down the glass, he continued, "Who is this One? How can I find him?" The dark man stretched out his vile mind to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. "Let’s have a little fun, shall we?"

* * * * * *

Carlin watched as his sister tossed and turned in her fevered sleep. He bit his lip and stretched an arm out to her. As soon as he touched her, he was ripped from reality and thrown into the dreamscape Hell with her.

Fire licked at the ebony darkness like tongues of mad beasts. Pools of blood spilled by thousands – perhaps millions – as well as mutilated corpses littered the earth Carlin stood upon.

"My Gods, Rhiannon," he thought incredulously, "This is what you dream?"

Carlin watched as legions of soldiers marched between him and his sister through the gore. He watched his sister’s head snap up and only moments later watched her scream in terror. Troubled about what could scare his sister so, Carlin looked up as well.
Up on a platform overlooking the carnage stood a black-robed man who laughed at her fear as he held in his hand a still-beating heart. Carlin’s eyes widened at the horrific figure then narrowed as he realized who it was.

"Sheridan," Carlin thought in disgust. Ducking behind some of the phantom soldiers, he managed to get a better view of what would happen next. Maybe this was what always happened when Rhiannon had this dream and she would awake and take them from the visions. Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed as he watched his arch-enemy reach out for his unprotected sibling and Carlin noticed that his sister was completely aware of what was happening, which wasn’t good.

"No!" Carlin cried out as he ran to his younger sibling. Thousands or gnarled hands shot out from the darkness. The brown-haired boy felt the slimy things wrap around his wrists and midsection as they tried to pull him away. The youth dug his fingers and nails into the slippery flesh and sensed the purple blood spill over. He heard the phantom voices as they screeched in anger as the sudden pain struck them. Carlin made a break for his sister as he felt the ghastly hands release him.

"Rhiannon!"

The girl turned sharply at the sound of her name. "Carlin!" and she threw her arms around his neck. As soon as their bodies touched, they were thrown back into reality.

Rhiannon looked up into her brother’s azure eyes. Her own eyes filled with crystalline tears and she bit her lip to stop it from trembling too obviously. She wrapped her arms around her brother and she buried her face in his shoulder.

Carlin ran his shaking hands through his sister’s fiery, red hair as she began repeating a forbidden mantra.

"It’s me…It’s me…It’s me…"

* * * * * *

The vile man clothed in black laughed out loud in spite of himself. The dreaded One was hardly more than a child, and a girl at that! The man pressed a hand against the wall trying to stable himself from the near-violent fit of insane giddiness. Taking a deep breath, he stood and wrapped a black-jeweled robe around his shoulders.

Walking down a flight of metal stairs, he thought bitterly, "I must issue orders to my men on how to take care of this…brat." A hateful laugh rang through the dark hallway.

* * * * * *

Rhiannon stood in one of the vast fields that littered the planet’s surface. The wind whipped around her violently. She looked up at the dark clouds that had been forming since earlier that day then back to her brother.

Carlin stood only a few meters away. His robes thrashed around his tall, thin frame, tangling themselves between his legs. His aura was still visible in the wake of the last training exercise.

"Carlin," Rhiannon called out to him, "We’ve been working on my powers for the past two hours. What say we take five, huh?" Looking somewhat apprehensive, the youth nodded his consent.

Rhiannon spun around once and toppled onto the ground with a sigh. She felt heaven’s tears fall from the sky and she laughed softly as they tickled her face. Suddenly, a feeling of utter dread washed through her soul. The girl sat bolt upright and looked at Carlin; he was as white as a ghost.

"I take it you felt it too," Rhiannon muttered. Carlin nodded. The girl stood up and looked up at the sky. "I know that feeling…" There was a shimmer in the sky as energy fields entered the atmosphere from the vacuum of space.

"Not here," Carlin whispered. "Good Gods, not here." Suddenly, there was a flash of light and in the place of the steady glimmering was a squad of five fighters. Their bodies, cast from black metal, were curved, hooked and as deadly as any wild creature’s fangs.

Rhiannon turned to her brother and asked hurriedly, "Who the hell are they?"

Carlin answered darkly, "The Donegal Empire’s elite fighters. They take orders only from Sheridan."

Turning back to look up at the fighters, Rhiannon commented, "I take it we’re in trouble then." The two stood in the field and watched as the fighters zoomed overhead. The sight and sound caused them to duck instinctively.

"Where are they going? Aren’t they after me?" Rhiannon demanded.

"Sheridan is."

"Then why are they heading – " Rhiannon stopped in mid-sentence as realization struck her almost painfully, "Toward the city!" The two siblings watched in horror as the fighters began to spray the city with a barrage of firepower.

Carlin grabbed his sister before she could run past him to the people inside the city walls, and told her, "Look, you stay here. Find a hiding place. I’ll go back and help the others."

"But, I could – "

"No, Rhiannon, it’s best for you to stay out of the way of any danger, at least for now. We need you alive.," With that, Rhiannon watched her older brother run off.

"If I can’t help in the front lines," she thought craftily, "I can help outside the walls." The young woman closed her emerald eyes and concentrated on what had to be done. Had the either fighter pilots or citizens looked into the fields, they would have seen a girl, more godlike than mortal, glow with a bright white light as power from nature wrapped around her like a cloak. The skies turned dark as night and the wind rose to hurricane strength.

Rhiannon’s eyes snapped open and looked upon the fighters with deadly determination. "Time to fly, boys," she whispered to the wind that screamed around her. Throwing her arms forward, the wind shrieked and gusted toward the fighters, throwing three of the five to the ground. Rhiannon watched the fallen ships explode in a pluming fireball. The ships that had not been destroyed rush away with utmost haste.

All present watched in awe as the girl, her powers spent, collapsed to the ground outside the city.

* * * * * *

Sheridan paced back and forth in his chamber as he screamed in rage. The commanders present looked at each other nervously as their Emperor threw random objects across the room. They became even more worried as the madman calmed much too quickly.

The black-cloaked man had already started forming a plan in his mind and he turned to his officers. Smiling disarmingly, he brought his men close and told them what they were to do.

* * * * * *

Rhiannon sat comfortably in the dining hall within the city on Althea Aileen. For once in her life she felt content, almost happy. It was true that there had been at least three more attempts on her life, all of which had failed, and she was beginning to know when, where, and how they were going to be tried. She was happy that she could make the small band of remaining Seers (those who had survived the Holocaust as well as the recent attacks) feel somewhat safer.

"You know, I’ve been thinking," Rhiannon started.

"That, my friends, is a truly scary thing," Gavin commented with a laugh. Rhiannon smiled and rolled her eyes. It was also true that the blond, spiky-haired teen had somehow succeeded in making her fond of him. She sometimes caught herself looking at him wistfully. She would quickly shake her mind from such…teenage things.

"Like I was saying," Rhiannon started again, "We’ve already proved we can hold our own against Sheridan’s attacks. Why don’t we come out of hiding?" The reaction wasn’t what she had expected at all. Many of the people sitting at the table bowed their heads. Some looked at her in barely concealed horror. Some just looked off into the distance remembering things long past..

"We can’t. It’s impossible," Carlin told her.

Turning to him, the red head asked, "And why is that? You have to remember, I wasn’t raised here and I don’t know much about my – your – our past, Carlin."

Nodding, he continued, "It’s because of the ‘reputation’ Sheridan and his Empire have set up with their cruel ideals. His utter power over the people makes it impossible." A few murmured agreements and nods around the table assured what he stated to be true.

Rhiannon sighed sadly and inquired, "Why do you even bother living, if you all think so darkly?"

One of the Elders stood and looked around the table and eventually let his old eyes rest on her. Taking a deep breath he asked her, "Do you really wish to know, child?" Taken aback slightly, Rhiannon nodded. "Well, then, I shall tell you. I warn any who do not wish to hear, or do not to relive the horrors of the past, please, I beg of you, leave the room. Consort in happier events than the ones about to partake in this chamber."

Rhiannon watched as more than half of the people seated did indeed leave the room quite quickly. The Elder watched the others go and kissed a few grandchildren goodnight and then turn back to the girl.

"Child, the stories and remembrances that I am about to tell you are of pain, fear, hatred, and sadness. They are of the Holocaust, the millions of deaths, and Sheridan and the Donegal Empire. But I shall answer your question of why we all keep on living first. You asked why. The simple reason is that we’ve been waiting for you."

Once again, Rhiannon was taken aback. "Me?"

"Yes, child, you. You see, an old woman, long dead even before my time, prophesized the coming of Sheridan and his Empire. However, she also predicted the coming of one who would bring the end of all his power. This means you, Rhiannon."

Rhiannon looked down at her hands that were folded in her lap. Looking up again, she begged, "Tell me more."

* * * * * *

Sheridan was once more in a rage as he screamed, "I don’t understand! How is it possible that a girl could foil my plans continuously?"

"Perhaps she’s stronger than we thought," muttered one of the commanders. Before the poor fool knew it, he was on the floor, staring out into space, as pain arched through his body. The other officers looked from their fellow writhing on the metal flooring to Sheridan’s twisted hand as it slowly squeezed shut.

Growing bored, the Emperor growled back in his throat and flicked his wrist, which sent the officer flying into a wall. The people present in the room watched in stunned horror as their comrade dropped to the floor and lay there motionless. Sheridan turned to the two guards that stood at attention by the door and commanded, "Take the fool to the infirmary and give the next man under him his job. He won’t be able to fulfill it anymore." Then, turning to the officers who immediately stood up straighter as Sheridan’s gaze fell over them. "Do any of you wish to add your opinions? No? Good. Now, ready your troops and prepare my shuttle as well. I plan on being there so that nothing goes wrong this time."

* * * * * *

Rhiannon awoke filled with unspeakable terror and anger. She threw the covers that kept the cold of the night from her lithe body and grabbed a cloak to wrap around herself. Making her way toward the Elders’ meeting room she heard them talking in hushed voices.

"What should we do?"

"Exactly what we were told to do."

"She’s still not ready to take on Sheridan in a battle."

"She’ll have to be."

"Excuse me," Rhiannon said as she walked through the doors to the chamber to find the Elders very startled by her appearance. "I just wanted to mention that Sheridan and his troops are on their way here so…"

"Child," said one of the Elders as he stepped forward, "How did you learn of this?"

Taking a deep breath, Rhiannon answered, "I saw it in a dream that was full of blood and violence." Heading out the door, she added, "You’re going to want to arm yourselves and every able-bodied person. It’s going to be a long day."

* * * * * *

The sun shown crimson as the citizens of Althea Aileen readied for any sort of attack. The clouds reflected blood red as the sun continued its slow decent. Soon, hues of violet and blue invaded the sky. The people’s eyes darted back and forth snapping from the sky to the ground to the cliffs.

All of a sudden, a woman cried out to the others, "There!" As other eyes followed her line of sight, they say Donegal troops fall from the sky in their fighters. The vile things looked like vengeful raindrops.

There was another space ship, however, that looked different from the others, being silver and glistened dangerously in the fading light. Rhiannon turned to her brother who stood his ground next to her and asked over the roar of the approaching shuttles, "Who’s that?"

"Sheridan."

"I didn’t think he’d come all the way out here to battle little old us," she muttered with sadistic sarcasm. She watched with the other Seers and their families as a garrison or two dropped from the Donegal Empire’s ships and marched in tight laced formation toward the closed-in city. The civilians cocked their weapons and charged up the energy cannons, readying for anything.

Rhiannon watched as Sheridan’s shuttle landed with the grace of a panther at the entrance to the city. In a rush of pressurized steam, a figure stepped forth and looked up at the people standing at the wall. Rhiannon’s eyes met the older man’s who stood below and her eyes narrowed. Everything about the man was evil; she could feel the dark undercurrents of darkness swirling out and away from his frame, searching for a victim to pull under.

One of the Elder’s stood with his arms raised and he bravely called down to the one man in the universe he would have no regret killing, "Why have you come here? What do you want?"

Sheridan gestured to his troops and replied, "Why, to finish what I started, of course," and with that a force of corrupted energy flew from the cloacked man’s outstretched hands and caught the old man off guard, sending him flying backward into the stone wall behind him.

Rhiannon stared in horror as she heard the man’s neck snap even before his head hit the unforgiving surface.
Blood slowly seeped from between the man’s lips and dripped down his chin. Turning back to peer over the wall, she found Sheridan smiling up at her, a sinful glint in his eyes. The hatred of the thousands of dead welled up inside her and she drew her energy rifle from its resting-place. She let loose a vicious scream that formed into words, "Vengeance!"

The battle lasted hours as the number of casualties skyrocketed into the late night and early morning. The stars and moons stood as sorrowful witnesses to the death and destruction as the warriors battled to the death, neither winning nor losing but remaining at a never-ending stalemate. Finally, Rhiannon stood up as the last man around her fell. Her body and face were lacerated in countless places and at least two of her ribs were fractured.

"Stand up…One," came the muttered demand. Looking up, Rhiannon saw Sheridan standing proudly before her even as his blood dripped from his own injuries. The red head glared and stood up to face him as he walked forward. The detestable creature grasped her chin his hand and looked into her angry eyes and let a baleful smile spread across his lips. "How could such a lovely creature pose such a threat to my Empire and I?" Rhiannon growled and bit at his hand, nearly succeeding in causing him another few wounds Unfortunately, he pulled away too quickly.

Sheridan laughed at her hatred of him and dropped his rifle. Rhiannon looked at him in mild shock as he stood before her unarmed. Catching his drift, she herself dropped her weapon.
"Ah, yes. Hand-to-hand combat is much more fun," he stated as he dropped back into a ready position. Taking a deep breath, Rhiannon did the same.

"I have to concentrate on the moment," she thought, "Don’t think about anything else. All that there is on this world is he and I."

She almost missed Sheridan’s initial attack; he did it with such stealth and precision. "He’s like a machine," she thought as they dueled on and on.

Legs flew to connect with heads and various other limbs or to block the opponent’s attempts. Fists collided with the opposite fighter’s chest or face. When the fighters’ arms and legs were exhausted from the exertion of the confrontation, they resulted to their powers. Rhiannon hurled boulders at Sheridan’s head even as he dodged and produced a counterattack.

Eventually, Rhiannon started to tire as her reserved energy was spent in the battle. She panted harshly and swiped at the blood that dripped from her split lip. She looked up as Sheridan tackled her to the ground. She fell on her back, gasping as the air was knocked out of her. She rasped as Sheridan whispered in her ear, "Join me, girl. With our power, we could rule this galaxy. Join me!"

Looking into his maddened eyes, she answered back, "I’d rather burn in Hell."

A pain shot through Sheridan’s midsection as if an asp had bitten him and left it’s fatal poison to swiftly spread through his body. Jumping up from the girl, he looked down at her. There, he saw the twisted, metal blade that she held in her right hand. The Emperor looked down at his stomach where he held his hand against the torn fabric of his tunic. Pulling the hand away, he saw the oily, red blood that covered his grimy flesh. He stared in shock at her and screamed, "No!"

Smiling, Rhiannon screamed back, "Yes!" as she threw her arms out and the winds came to her call. They swirled around the dark one, suffocating him in their grasp, twisting his body at odd angles and threw him to the ground. Rhiannon walked to the still, contorted body.

Looking back to the others that stood around the scene in awe, she smiled tiredly. She looked to the blade in her hand in her hand and murmured, "I thought you’d come in handy." She turned to face the rising sun as it bathed the gore with a light that seemed to purify the survivors. She closed her eyes and whispered, "It’s over and it’s time to rebuild."


Words from the Story

Valora = Strong (Greek)
Tessa = Essence (Greek)
Althea = Healing (Greek)
Aileen = Light (Greek)
Amara = Unfading (Greek)
Deirdre = Sorrow (Celtic)
Donegal = Dark (Celtic)
Nolan = Famous (Celtic)
Carlin = Little Champion (Celtic)
Aldora = Winged Gift (Greek)
Sheridan = Wild Man (Celtic)
Murrough = Sea Warrior (Celtic)
Maeve = Intoxicating one (Celtic)
Gavin = White Hawk (Celtic)
Aislin = Dream (Celtic)


------
Sometimes, when you make an omelette, you have to kill a few people...



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The following comments are for "One"
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