Xenogears:  Prelude to Destruction

Dark Angel

Chapter 24:  Warfare

By Nightsong




Terisiare, Riven


            “Why don’t they just kill us and get it over with?  They know what we’re planning… they have to know.” Kayla shook her head, sighing deeply as she tried fruitlessly to convince herself that the death-grip on her sonicpike was unnecessary.


“Think about it, Kayla.” Mathiu said, looking the perfect figure of calm.  He wasn’t, for multiple reasons – not the least of which the fact that Kay was sitting next to him on his very own bed, though there were more pressing concerns – but he tried to make an effort for his partner.  “What would happen if they killed us with no evidence or ‘crime’ to convict us of?”


The young Hunter-woman thought for a moment.  “It’d probably… start an all-out rebellion in the younger part of the organization.  The entire group would fall apart.” She shook her head.  “But even if they wait for us to act, that’s still probably going to be the case.  No matter how many charges they trump up against us, our friends are going to make us into martyrs… and it probably won’t be for the best.”


“There’s truth in that, but there’s less of a chance for rebellion if they wait until they have proof of a ‘crime’.” Matt sighed, and looked down at the floor of his cluttered room.  “But you know the Council.  They’re all desperate… and, like they say, flimsy logic’s as strong as steel to  desperate men.”


The two sat in silence for a moment.  It wasn’t a hard thing to do – it was nearly midnight – and the darkness proved a bit calming.  Mathiu could think of something more calming, though, and tried to act on it.  Slowly, he started to slide himself closer to Kayla…


And was abruptly cut off when the woman decided to go down a new line of questioning.


“Do we really need to do this?” she asked.  Mathiu blinked, almost embarrassed for a moment, until he realized she was referring to helping Cynewulf and Meryl out of prison. 


“Why are you asking that?  Of course we need to.”


“Look, Matt.  I feel as bad about this as you do… and I want to believe we can change things here.  But what if the Council’s right, in its fears?  I mean, Talon Creed tried to storm the Black Tower once… and look what happened to him.  These two aren’t any more powerful than he was… we sure as hell aren’t.” a single tear slipped down the girl’s cheek.


Mathiu, in an unusual act of boldness – for this type of situation – reached over and wiped the tear from her cheek. “That’s not the point, Kay.  We can’t just give up hope like this… if we do, we’ll be just like the Council.  A bunch of cowards, scared to fight the reality of their world.  We can’t just… give up, no matter the odds.”


Kayla looked over at Mathiu, not making any comment of the fact that Matt’s hand hadn’t moved from her face since he wiped away the tear.  “You’re right… of course you’re right, Matt.  You always seem to be.” She allowed herself a small smile.  “You arrogant bastard.” 


Mathiu shrugged.  “Hey, if I can save you the trouble of having to act like you know anything, I’m doing good.”


The woman cocked an eyebrow at him, an expression that faded quickly enough, and left them staring into each others’ eyes.


Suddenly, Mathiu’s hand felt very awkward on Kayla’s face.


He moved his hand back to his lap and focused his gaze firmly on his shoes, wishing with all his might that he could prevent himself from turning red.  After several long moments of silence, he dared a glance back up to see if the moment had passed.


He was very shocked to see Kayla’s eyes still staring at him, deeply, intensely… wonderfully.  “Hey, Kayla…” he dared after a moment, trying to sound macho and in control of himself.  He came out weak and nervous, but pressed on.  “Um… how’d you like to go on a date with me?  Like, say, to the Black Tower?”


The young woman smiled, and shook her head.  “Not exactly the location I’d imagined you’d pick for the first time you managed to work up your nerve to ask me out… but a good a place as any, I guess.  Why not?” Ignoring Mathiu’s subsequent exclamations of shock/joy, she stood up and stretched.  “One condition, though… I think we need to double date with a couple friends of mine.”


“Well, I hate to have attention taken off of me, but why not?” he glanced down at his watch.  “And, as late as it is, now’s as good a time as any to do this thing.”


“On with the show, then.” Kayla said, the mood turning solemn again.  “God help us.”




“Shall we begin the energy exchange process, sir?” the voice belonged to a scuttling blue insectoid-type… one of the lower forms of life, as far as the Shi Kari hierarchy ran.  The non-humanoids tended to be less powerful, for the most part, and were stuck in what few menial positions the lavoid beings had available.


It spoke to one of the higher forms of Shi Kari life, and one unique to this particular fleet:  a Doppelganger, specifically Taloncreed, insofar as the Shi Kari had names for the individual.


“I think not.  The female has already been injected with a small amount.  It will have to be removed to insure proper balancing before we can go on with a full exchange… this takes more time than the other, and is secondary.  The important thing is the male.  We need a thought analysis scan run… you know the will of Shi Kari, our will, your will, my will.  The secrets of this human run deep, and dangerous.”


The insectoid – its specific caste name was Polymicite – nodded with its almost spherical head, its white hexagonal eyes glittering against the dark metal of the tower walls.  The extraction room was unique in the Black Tower in this respect.  Every other location in the huge spire was dimly lit, with only the barest necessities of light provided for purposes of travel.  The energy extraction chambers, on the other hand, were lit much like any human facility, with white and blue and red and green lights powered by lavoid energy; condensed Chaos energy.  It had been found that these lights radiated the power source, and thus inundated anyone unfortunate enough to be in the room with it.  This immersion, as it was, in lavoid energy proved to make a subject more tolerant to injection with the stuff in large amounts. 


And thus it was, with a quick bit of spellwork and a flip of a bio-mechanical switch, that the Shi Kari gazed into Darrell Shanning’s mind. 




Darkness.  That was the first thought that ran through the combined minds of the Hive, through the mind of Doppelganger Taloncreed, as the entrance began.  The spell used to read minds was deceptively simple.  Rather than attempt to draw thoughts out through audible means – this was next to impossible, given that thought impulses were visually rather than sonically-induced – it simply drew one’s mind into another’s.  Taloncreed’s mind had, however briefly, been connected with Darrell’s.  And it was a horrifying vision.


As the darkness lifted, there was a black field, made red with blood.  This blood was not as Talon was used to seeing it, though, as often as it was spilled by his own hands.  It writhed and twisted in an unfelt wind like a thing possessed, and it cried out with the voice granted those who have felt the cold hand of injustice cast down upon them. 


And their words… if anything could strike fear into the black hearts of those who were controlled by the Lavoids, those could.


Murderer murderer murderer you’ve killed us you are not death you are not worthy of us


            Why to us you created us you cannot destroy us



                        Why Why why


You are just a child yourself you are not the masters you are pawns in the game


                                    Look upon your death look upon it death death death


            All your fault we’re dead all your fault all your fault


We will destroy you we will we will we will


A single thought rose above all of these, like a beacon pointing the way toward a single thing.  Talon followed this thought to the center of the blood red field, unconsciously flinching as he waded through the screaming pool. 


Covered to the neck in the blood stood a single man.  His grey hair was matted red with the ichor of his surroundings, and his eyes were an aching hazel.  His fists, their scarred features obscured by blood blood red blood all your fault all your fault, were clenched tightly and immovably.  He was Darrell Shanning, and the thoughts that surrounded him were the most horrifying of all.


My fault my race’s fault my people’s fault all my fault all my fault all my fault.  All this death, the screams of Zion and of Earth and of a million million million other planets… all my fault all humanity’s fault all all all


Everything must be brought to its end the Lavoids will die they will die they will be destroyed And I start with You with You with You!


A change in the vision.  At the edge of the field, seemingly the edge of consciousness so distant was it, a beautiful spiked creature arose from nothingness.  It was a lavoid, a Class B, the Shi Kari could tell.  Talon would have fallen to the floor and worshipped it then and there, but a feeling of hatred jolted through his very being, strange and unnatural.  It was supplied by the consciousness he now inhabited, supplied by the vision of a human that now screamed angrily before him, by the voices of the crimson blood that engulfed him.


G R E N D E L  is the name the name of destruction of death of Lavoids of hell and pain and sin.  G R E N D E L grendel grendel lavoid hatred death death death murder MURDER MURDER!!


The illusory Darrell swept forward with surprising speed through the dead field, silvery daggers appearing in his hands as he did.  The only thought in his mind was to kill, to kill, to kill and it swept through the Shi Kari like a shockwave in its intensity.  Their awe and sense of unease was but compounded when the lavoid screamed out angrily, then allowed its shell, inexplicably, to unravel as though it were nothing more than gossamer.  Darrell slowed to a stop at the sight, but his gaze didn’t soften in the least as he saw the blue humanoid step out of the smoky remains of the travel armor. 


Its eyes were completely white and void of pupils, and its hair had been replaced with tendrils that spiked out from the being’s head and down its back.  It wore a simple black-red suit designed to ease travel, and its fists were bereft of any visible weapons.  The Shi Kari knew better, knew much better, though.  Even in the vision, the power of their master, of one of the Lavoids, was apparent. 


You destroyed my homeland and my life and my being and my soul and everything and everything and all that is came the distorted thoughts of Darrell, magnified to a deafening crescendo in the minds of the Shi Kari.


Grendel looked puzzled at this.  I gave you your life and your society.  Your soul came to be from my manipulation, from the Lavoids.  We are your gods, can you not see, and we hold the cards of life and death before you.  I took what I saw fit from you, and discarded you when you were no longer of use.  This is life.


Darrell’s mind screamed in an incoherent anger that the Shi Kari found almost painful to listen to.  NO NO NO NO You are not my god no man is my god no thing is my god I am my own master you are not judgement you are not the Reaper you cannot destroy us like cattle who gave you the right


Grendel’s eyes flared with Chaos, a humbling and reassuring sight to Taloncreed.  I was born with the right.  You humans lost the keys of life and death the moment you created our race.  Evolution has left you kicking and screaming as nothing more than fodder.  It does not benefit me, or any other, to view you as anything more; you are nothing more.


NO!  Humanity has something that you can never have, killer without compassion bloody murderer destroyer.  The human spirit can never be crushed.  Our potential is limitless; we can achieve anything we set our minds to.


Grendel would have laughed at this, but laughter required more emotions than the lavoid possessed.  You are incorrect.  Humanity is weak, changeable.  All you are capable of is corruption and destruction.  You can never be what we are, and you will never be strong enough to destroy us.  No human will ever achieve that.


 Then we Darrell tensed visibly, shifting into an attack position. will simply He casually tossed his daggers to the ground.  become more His brow furrowed in concentration, and silver light began to pour from his body  than human. 


Explosions.  That was the only way to describe the sensory overload that flooded the Shi Kari’s consciousness at that point.  Light upon light upon light shifted and jumped and threw itself here and there and everywhere.  As it hit the field of blood, the viscous liquid dissolved and became one with the light, giving the aura of energy an almost sickly yellow-orange hue. 


And when it cleared, Darrell was no longer Darrell, but something more.  His clothes, previously a worn black pilot suit, had been metamorphosed into a smoky grey cloak.  The cloak was apparently magical; something about it made Talon want to look away from it, to not notice it.  It had a hood, but that was currently down, to reveal the face of that which had been Shanning.  His hair, formerly totally iron in hue, had been streaked with blue at intervals, and ran a fair distance down his back in a tight ponytail.  And his eyes… those once ordinary hazel orbs now glowed green, an obvious sign of lifestream manipulation.  His face was totally bereft of any emotion, and was as smooth as a sheet of stone.  It was bone-chilling to the Shi Kari, and possibly even to the false Grendel.


I will kill every single one of your damned race, Grendel.  I do not care of the cost.


Grendel backed up a step.  An aura of power poured off of this new being before him, an unsettling mixture of Chaos and Order and every manipulation in-between.  The melding of energies had created an entirely new sort of power, and it was so formidable that the Shi Kari felt a fear that they had never felt since their existence had been claimed by the Lavoids.


You do nothing I have not said humanity was capable of, human.  The illusory Grendel said, his tone almost sounding desperate.  This you is merely corruption, merely an amalgamation of energies you could only accomplish through death and murder and destruction such as the Lavoids could scarcely dream of.


Darrell’s eyes – mako eyes, the Shi Kari noted silently – narrowed at this. Damn life, then.  Damn every single piece of creation in the Multiverse, if it will destroy you and your kind.


The new Darrell closed his mouth with that, and raised a single, black-gloved hand at a ninety-degree angle from his body.  Energy began to gather in his palm, so quickly that the Shi Kari found themselves cowed, and they felt more than heard the name of a spell spoken.


Night Unending.


The Shi Kari knew that spell well, knew exactly what its use prophesied.  It was a spell formerly thought only castable by the twisted children of the Lavoids, the fallen Planeswalkers of the forever cursed LEA.  It was magic that drew directly on the Chaos energy outside of the Multiverse, and it was infinitely powerful.


And any who could even dream of this form of life, that could cast it out of a life created entirely by willpower, was infinitely dangerous to the Shi Kari, to the lavoid race as a whole.


Talon felt himself beginning to be pulled out of Shanning’s mind as the incredible power of the spell again overloaded the abilities of his mind to visualize.  He was relieved at this, until he felt something else notice his departure. 


Shanning had noticed the intrusion on his mind at long last, and he was angered.


You have seen a future that you will not live to, Shi Kari. The voice of the being that had been Darrell declared. You have seen a future that I cannot imagine in my waking hours.  It shall come to pass, the death of your entire race.  I shall bring it about if I have to tear apart the Multiverse bit by bit.  And I begin the destruction of the lavoid race…


Talon’s eyes snapped open, back in the Black Tower.  He was safe again, safe from that accursed voice, safe from Darrell Shanning, who was still laid in restraints…


He glanced around himself as his ability to think came back to him.  The room had been torn apart.  The polymicite worker that had been manipulating the equipment lay dead on the ground, decapitated.  Talon gasped sharply as he looked about himself wild-eyed.


He felt Darrell Shanning before he saw him.  The young man was just a human, not that horrible being from the vision, but his eyes still held just as much hatred.  His daggers (which had been on Talon’s belt, he thought, he knew!) were gripped tightly in his hands, pointed straight at the Doppelganger in a sort of challenge.


“With you.” he said simply, finishing the statement he’d sought to before.  There was something in his eyes that told Talon the man wasn’t fully awake yet, wasn’t really Darrell Shanning right now.  There was something dark and hateful at work here, something clearly evil even to the Lavoids’ typically apathetic views on the subjects of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.  But he could not think about it; that something was ready to kill him.




“Snip here, and there… and that should do it.” Mathiu wiped a bit of sweat from his brow as he glanced nervously about himself for the umpteenth time.  As it had been for the past fifteen minutes, the cavernous engine room that powered various things in Terisiare was empty.  He’d been spending his time here desperately trying to cut off the anti-Order fields that were dispersed throughout the jail level of the huge facility.  It hadn’t been an easy task; the main generator that powered all the slave generators throughout the building had been made by physicists and other such scientists far more intelligent than Matt, and the little thing was packed with so many hundreds of wires that the young Hunter was almost afraid to breathe, lest the wrong wire be manipulated and screw up the entire system. 


That would have been rather destructive, had it happened; rather than cutting off the fields, he would have simply altered the way they worked, and probably scrambled the cells of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the AO fields… namely Cynewulf and Meryl. 


Thankfully, it had gone painlessly enough, and now all that was left was to cut some choice wires in the main power grid.  In the confusion of the power outage – though some people damn Sien and damn the Council  wouldn’t be all that confused, Matt knew – they would probably be able to slip into the jails with relative ease and get the two Seekers out of the building.  Of course, there would probably be battle involved, and that wasn’t something that the teenager was looking forward to.  As bad as the situation had gotten here on Riven, humans hadn’t spilled each others’ blood in nearly twenty years here.  It just seemed… obscene to even think about it. 


He thought about Kayla, vulnerable as she had to be at her position near the cells that held Cyne and Meryl, and shivered involuntarily.  The thought of their fellow Hunters hurting her, maybe even killing her… it filled him with rage he wasn’t sure what to do with. 


He set to work on the power grid systems, muttering all the while, “If they harm so much as one hair on her head, I’ll…”


“You’ll what?  Die?” the voice was mocking, cold.  More importantly than this to Matt was the fact that the voice was not his own.  He leapt up from his position, pulling his mace into a ready hand as he did, and looked up straight into the cruel eyes of Sien Taggart.


“I didn’t hear you come in.” Matt said, trying desperately to keep his voice level and calm.


Sien smirked without much amusement.  “I didn’t really expect you to, child.  You’re but an infant when it comes to the ways of the Hunt.”


“If you mean in the ways of murdering my own kind, then yeah, I don’t have much experience.” Matt said frostily, tightening his grip on his mace until his knuckles went white.


“You flatter yourself.” Sien commented.  “You and the girl are not my kind.  You are nowhere near my level, boy, and you never will be.  Tonight, even as I kill you, your precious friends will die, and so will that sickening little girlfriend of yours.”


Mathiu could scarcely contain his rage at that point, as it threatened to overwhelm what remained of his reasoning abilities.  He managed to force out, between clenched teeth, “What makes you and the Council think that the younger Hunters will tolerate this?  You’ll start a rebellion.”


“On the contrary,” Sien chuckled, one hand on his still-undrawn steel.  “the younger Hunters will never have a clue that you have died.  The message will be put out that you all managed to escape with the off-worlders.  No one will be all that surprised when they never hear from you again; you are, after all, seeking the Black Tower.” He grinned.  “You see?  All we have to do is sacrifice a bit of pride, and we can kill you at our leisure.”


“Slight problem in your plan, Taggart.” Matt said, readying his mace arm.  “For that to work, you have to be able to kill me… and I’m not ready to die just yet!” he cried out in anger and frustration as he took his mace and smashed it into the power grid that sat right behind him.  Electricity poured visibly from it as bits of it began to explode, and it would have disabled the young Hunter entirely if he hadn’t withdrawn his weapon hurriedly.  As it was, the lights went out immediately, until the only thing that Matt could see were still raging fires of the huge energy core. 


And then a slender silver blade flitted at his throat from the darkness, and he had to roll away even from that unsettling light.




When the lights went out in Terisiare, Kayla Narube found herself being assaulted by half a dozen older Hunters of Riven.  It had been quite a shock when a blaster bolt had nearly separated her head from her body, and even more so when it was revealed that these Hunters were members of the recently disbanded Shi Kari Death Squad.  These were the top killers of the farilii in all of the Hunter organization, and their weapons had been designed to not just destroy, but incinerate.  And as soon as she’d gotten a good look at them, Matt had apparently finished his job on the power generator and left them all in darkness.


It wasn’t a complete gloom, though; there were emergency lights that were battery-operated flickering faint reds on the edges of the hallway that surrounded her.  Considerably more frightening than that were the laser targeting systems that centered on her from the various high-powered rifles and pistols the SKDS carried, and the occasional and potentially deadly flashes of light when a blast was fired at her.


She held her sonicpike close to her, and manipulated a small switch on it until the tinny, muted sound it generated flew so far into the ultrasonic range that it probably could have shattered glass, had there been any within a few yards.  Then, ducking out of the sights of a few more rifle scopes, she slipped on a pair of infra-red goggles.  Immediately, her antagonists’ positions became awash in a pale crimson glow, their limited cover blown.  Grinning, she stealthily pulled her way towards them, careful to avoid their scopes while trying to hurry before they pulled on some sort of equipment to aid their vision. 


She barely made it to the first one in time; she could see his hands rummaging through a pouch on his belt even as she gritted her teeth and punched her pike through him, the ultrasonic force that surrounded the weapon slicing through the man’s armor like a lettuce leaf.  He let out the most sickening cry as he fell limp on her weapon, and she barely had time to push him off before what felt like a hundred blaster bolts came in her direction. 


She ducked and rolled and dodged, but knew there was no way she’d be able to reach another one in the same fashion; they’d obviously donned infra-red wear themselves by now – their aim had improved considerably – and scattered mutterings about the room told her there would likely be attack spell-based light coming her way shortly. 


Grimacing as she rolled her way into a narrow side corridor, she began work on a spell of her own.  Better to take the initiative, she thought, than to let God-only-knew-what come flying her way.


It wasn’t easy to concentrate on her magic as bolts came flitting by, some so close as to singe her skin, and while fully expecting the five remaining guards to come running into full view any second.  Thankfully, the spell she’d chosen had a low casting time, overall, and it went off without too much trouble.


“Thundara!” she yelled, whirling around the corner with one hand outstretched toward a group of guards who had been expecting an ambush after they worked up the nerve to come after her, not before. 


The hallway was awash with lightning, tiny bolts of it stretching out to embrace Kayla’s former allies.  A few of them – who happened to be positioned rather conveniently – managed to roll out of the way into adjacent hallways, but that left three to feel the full onslaught of a mid-level bolt spell. 


As the light faded, Kayla saw a few shapes fall to the floor, obviously unconscious.  She allowed herself a small grin at that, and began running towards the one that hadn’t with an intensity that surely surprised the guard.


She was more than a bit surprised when the two guards that had escaped her attack, momentarily forgotten, popped back into view and fired off a few bolts straight in her direction.  The young Huntress tried to duck out of the way, but there was only so much evasive action one could take while running towards the things one needed to dodge.  One bolt caught her full in the ankle, knocking her forward to the ground and causing a second and third bolt to fly harmlessly over her head.  She cried out in pain as she fell, but managed to keep a hold to her lance.  She mouthed a few cuss words as she considered how bad the damage to her leg was.  Of course, if she had time, a quick curative spell could fix that – there was an abundance of ether in this area of Terisiare – but she hardly had the time for any such thing as that. 


She pulled her head up, and saw three forms walking towards her, one staggering as it came.  Apparently, they wanted to kill her the old-fashioned way; with their melee weapons.  Either that or they want to do something else to me before I go… she shuddered at the thought, and tried to shut it out of her mind.  There was only one chance, then, and it wasn’t a great one.


“Why… are you doing this?” Kayla asked in her best ‘pitiful little girl’ voice as the three came close enough for her to hear them breathing, which they were doing rather loudly, admittedly. 


The question obviously surprised the hell out of the squad members, who, while they’d been expecting some sort of plea, hadn’t been expecting such a question as that to come up. 


“You’re a traitor, Narube.  The Council briefed us, big-time.  You want to go out for the Tower, and screw us all over like Creed did all those years ago.” One of the death squad members sounded very, very ready to kill her, at the least. 


“I don’t!  We have a chance this time, with the off-worlders… and even if we didn’t, does that mean that humans should be killing humans?” she pulled her head up and gazed into what she figured was the general location where the man’s eyes would be.  “The Shi Kari have already won if we do that!”


One of the men seemed to be honestly thinking about that, and muttered something to the other two.  There was a brief, and hushed conversation between them.  Kayla say her moment had come, and threw her plan into motion.


“We have our orders, Tain!” the earlier speaker muttered furiously.  “We can’t just disobey them!”


Tain made a negative motion with one hand.  “If we obey them, we’re destroying all the ideals that the Hunters were founded upon!”


The third, short of breath and aching all over from the lightning attack, managed a word or two.  “If we… go against the Council, the Lavoids have already won.  We can’t have a… rebellion.”


The guard Tain seemed to digest this for a moment, then lowered his head.  “Very well.  She diiIEEEAGH!!” The man couldn’t stop screaming, and as he looked down to see a sonicpike protruding from his chest, he realized just why.  He didn’t even have time to curse his own indecision, though, before he fell to the ground dead, the pike left embedded in his chest.


Kayla had managed to sneak around the guards as they questioned their morality, and had grabbed a blaster rifle off of one of the unconscious soldiers nearby as she did.  It had taken more than a bit of thought to manage to kill the man before her, especially since he’d been the only one against killing her, but he was the only one in the correct position to be snuck up on. 


As the two remaining soldiers glanced about themselves in fear and amazement, Kayla forced herself upright directly before them.  She’d been using the body of one of the soldiers to mask her own heat signature, but she knew there was only so long such a tactic could possibly work.  Sighing deeply, she aimed quickly with her stolen weapon and squeezed the trigger, almost immediately sending the lightning-blasted soldier still standing to his death. 


That left her with just one man; the one who’d been so eager to kill her.  He had temporarily retreated into a side corridor to avoid getting shot himself by the impromptu sniper, but she knew that he’d come back out momentarily, likely with a lethal plan.  She used the moment she had to cast a quick healing spell, which sealed the bleeding wound in her leg, though it didn’t knit back together all the torn ligaments in it.  This fact became obvious as she forced herself to her feet and felt red-hot fire radiating through her body from that point, but it wasn’t more than she could bear – or at least so she told herself as she bit her lip hard enough to draw blood. 


As she tried to stumble her way over to the nearest wall, all while keeping her rifle pointed this way and that – in the confusion, she’d lost track of where the remaining soldier was – the lights flickered momentarily.  It was confusing, and she nearly lost her footing entirely in shock at it.  That shouldn’t have happened, unless someone was trying to repair the power grid, whether by magical or menial means.  And if someone was trying to repair the power grid, then that meant Matt was probably…


A sob cut through her body, sounding so strange to Kayla that she barely realized it came from her.  She shut her eyes tightly, and just let herself fall to the ground, glad that the lights hadn’t stayed on so that she could let the darkness embrace her.  Was he dead?  Was he?  If Mathiu was gone, everything that Kayla believed in didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered, and she was…


She cried out in a very different way right after that, as she felt a strong arm pull her roughly to her feet and put a pistol to her head.  “You’re dead, little girl.” The last surviving member of the Shi Kari Death Squad whispered furiously in her ear, kissing her viciously there as he did.  “At least, you’ll be ready to be by the time I finish with you.”




It was all death when I found them… God, it was horrible.” – Meryl Sara, Final History of the Seekers.




To Chapter 25


Back to Dark Angel Index